India, China begin 2-day border talk

 Launching a two-day dialogue on the bilateral boundary dispute, India and China on Monday reviewed recent incidents along the Line of Actual Control between the two nations and discussed the implementation of the newly-signed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement.

National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi launched the 17th round of boundary negotiations in New Delhi on Monday. This is the last round of negotiations on the boundary disputes between the two countries before India goes to nationwide polls to elect a new government in April-May.

Menon and Yang are Special Representatives of India and China in the boundary negotiations. New Delhi and Beijing earlier had 16 rounds of negotiations at the level of the Special Representatives since the process was launched in 2003.

The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Gautam Bambawale. Ouyang Yujing, Director General of the Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the delegation from China.

 “The talks, which were held in a candid, constructive and forward looking atmosphere, reviewed recent developments in the India-China border areas, especially in the Western Sector. Implementation of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), additional confidence building measures and further steps for maintaining peace and tranquility were also discussed,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release on Monday.

The BDCA was signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing last October – just a few months after an incursion by the soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and paramilitary People’s Armed Police Force at Depsang Bulge in Ladakh triggered a three-week-long stand-off along the western sector of the LAC.

India last month sent a proposal to China for a meeting between its Director General of Military Operations and his counterpart in the communist country to find out more effective ways to avert or deal with incursions by each other’s troops across the disputed LAC.

China does not have a DGMO, but a Deputy Chief of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army is likely to come to New Delhi for the talks.

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