India, China to hold boundary talks on Monday
NEW DELHI/BEIJING LOOKING to keep their sensitive ties on course despite differences over a host of issues, India and China will hold two-day boundary talks in New Delhi beginning on Monday, during which they are also expected to sign a landmark border mechanism.
India’s external affairs ministry in New Delhi and the Chinese foreign office in Beijing on Saturday announced the boundary talks, which were postponed in November due to Chinese objections to Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama’s participation in a global Buddhist conclave in New Delhi.
“In addition to discussions on the India-China boundary question, the two sides will hold discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the external affairs ministry said in New Delhi.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, India’s special representative, will hold talks with China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo that will focus on evolving a framework for delineating the border on the map.
The two sides are now in the second stage of boundary negotiations, which entails evolving a framework for demarcating the disputed border. The second stage is proving to be the “most difficult part of negotiations” as it will form the basis on which the new boundary will be fixed, said informed sources.
The two sides are also expected to sign a landmark border mechanism on Tuesday that seeks to establish direct contact between New Delhi and Beijing in case of intrusions or incidents resulting from misperceptions arising from the Line of Actual Control.
The two officials will also seek to iron out differences over recent irritants like the Chinese denial of a visa to an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer that have shadowed ties between the two countries.
They are also expected to discuss the likely visit to India of Xi Jinping, tipped to succeed Chinese President Hu Jintao.