NSA Doval, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang hold talks

Last Updated 21 December 2019, 15:21 IST

India and China on Saturday agreed to respect each other’s sensitivities and concerns and to work on additional confidence-building measures to maintain peace along the disputed boundary.

The two nations held the 22nd round of boundary negotiations in New Delhi on Saturday – for the first time after China joined Pakistan to strongly protest India’s August 5 decisions to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and to reorganize the state into two Union Territories. They agreed on the “importance of approaching the boundary question from the strategic perspective of India-China relations”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hosted Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi in New Delhi for the talks. Doval and Wang are Special Representatives of the respective governments leading the negotiations to resolve the boundary disputes. They agreed that “an early settlement” of the boundary dispute would “serve the fundamental interests of both countries”.

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said in a press release that the talks had been constructive with focus on taking forward the India-China closer developmental partnership as per the guidance provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2nd Informal Summit in Chennai last October.

They reached a consensus that both sides should respect each other’s sensitivities and concerns in order to build mutual trust, as this was important for the future development of the bilateral relations.

The two Special Representatives resolved to intensify efforts to achieve “a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable” solution to the boundary dispute in accordance with the directives provided by Modi and Xi.

They agreed that to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas for the overall development of the bilateral relationship, pending the final settlement of the boundary question. They recognized the importance of existing Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) to promote exchanges and communication between the border personnel and to ensure predictability in border management as well as strategic communication. They also agreed to work together for more CBMs, the MEA said in the press release.

Sources in New Delhi told the DH that the additional CBMs might be formally put in place when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would visit Beijing for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe early next year.

China has been opposing Modi government's August 5 decisions on J&K – not only to stand by its “iron brother” Pakistan but also because it was concerned over the implication of the move on its protracted boundary dispute with India.

The Chinese Government perceived it as New Delhi's “unilateral” moves to change the status quo in the disputed territory and to strengthen its claim – not only on areas of Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan but also on 5180 sq. kms of areas ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963 as well as on Aksai Chin – a disputed territory between India and China.

India conveyed to China that its move was not intended to make any additional territorial claim along its disputed boundary with the neighbouring communist country.

(Published 21 December 2019, 08:32 IST)

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