Boundary negotiators may meet before Xi's second term

Boundary negotiators may meet before Xi's second term

India and China may have another round of boundary negotiations before Chinese President Xi Jinping commences his second term.

The new officials of the Chinese communist party and the  Chinese government are set to take charge in March 2018. New Delhi and Beijing are in touch to schedule the 20th round of boundary negotiations before that, sources told DH.

A meeting between the chief interlocutors for India-China boundary negotiations is one of the bilateral engagements  the two countries  are contemplating in order to ease the tension between them.

The relationship between the two countries had become strained after the military face-off in Dokalam plateau in Bhutan earlier this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Security Advisor and New Delhi's Special Representative for boundary talks with Beijing, Ajit Doval, will host his counterpart Yang Jiechi, the State Councillor of China, for the next round of negotiations.

Yang, a former foreign minister, was elevated to the polit  bureau of the Chinese communist party last month when the party had its twice-in-a-decade national congress in Beijing.He will relinquish the office of the state councillor of China before being appointed vice-premier and entrusted with the  responsibility of foreign policy in March 2018, when Xi will re-constitute his cabinet for his second term.

Yang is likely to be succeeded by Wang Yi, who is currently the foreign minister, as state councillor, as well as the special representative of the Chinese Government for boundary negotiations with India.

Doval and Yang's meeting may  happen before  the shuffling of these portfolios.

Doval and Yang have held two rounds of negotiations so far  - the 18th round in New Delhi in March 2015 and the 19th round in Beijing in April 2016.They had agreed last year to hold the next round of negotiations in India this year.

Though the 72-day face-off at Dokalam Plateau ended on August 28, it is likely to cast a shadow on the boundary negotiations, which have been carried out by the special representatives of the two nations since 2003.

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