Ajit Doval hopeful, positive about boundary talks with China
Describing the boundary talks with China as "positive", National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Friday said India has inalienable positions and the government will protect vital national interests.
New Delhi: Describing the boundary talks with China as "positive", National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Friday said India has inalienable positions and the government will protect vital national interests.
The comments by NSA Ajit Doval comes just days after the 18th round of talks here on the the vexed boundary issue between him and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.
Doval underlined that there are areas of convergence between India and China despite the boundary issue.
"We are very happy that the round of talks are going on because if they are not, it means that conflict is the only way for resolution," Doval said at a seminar here.
He said the fact that both sides think there is a possibility of conflict resolution without conflict is itself good.
Asked if he felt that the fresh rounds of talks under him will be better than the earlier ones, he said that will depend on many things.
Doval noted that everybody in the past "must have done a very good job in the given circumstances that they were operating".
He said that India was hopeful for a resolution and there was positive attitude.
"But there are also some inalienable positions as far as India is concerned and I think the need for us is to see that our vital national interests are protected," he said.
The NSA, however, did not elaborate as to what these inalienable positions are.
China has been staking claim to Arunachal Pardesh but India has downright rejected that as it maintains that the northeastern state is an integral part of India.
During the boundary talks this week, India and China agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas, holding that to be a "pre-requisite" for continued growth of bilateral relations and also for enhancing cooperation in key areas, including counter-terrorism, maritime security and civil nuclear energy sector.
In a first such engagement since the Narendra Modi-led government came to power, the Special Representatives (SRs), Doval and Jiechi, held the 18th round of boundary talks and agreed to further expand contact between the armed forces of the two countries as these constitute important confidence- building measures for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
Replying to questions on the Indian Ocean region, Doval
said that "external" powers should keep away from building bases and capacity there.
Although he did not mention the neighbouring country, China has been focusing on capacity building in the Indian Ocean region, something that has raised Indian eyebrows.
Doval pointed out that India is the biggest power in this region and has a 7,500-km long coastline and 2.3 million sq.Km of Exclusive Economic Zone.
He also noted that India has historic and cultural ties with most of the countries in the region and that the UN General Assembly had in a resolution declared Indian Ocean as an 'Ocean of Peace'.
He stressed on the freedom of sea links, saying everybody should be able to use these for trade and commerce.
"Building of bases, naval bases, or building of capacity, will not be in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean and for the countries of Indian Ocean who, by and large, are all peaceful. The 1971 UN resolution had said that external powers should keep away from that," he said.
He said India hopes that that would be adhered to.
Meanwhile, speaking on defence production cooperation between India and the US, Doval said it was a win-win situation for both countries.
He also stressed on the importance of building capabilities "so that we are able to adapt very fast to the new threats and respond to them".
The NSA spoke on '4th-generation' warfare and said in such wars, the civil society will be the frontier for which one needs to build capacity.
He underlined that capacity-building was not just about modern arms. At a seminar yesterday, Doval had stressed on nation building besides just state building.
Stressing on the importance of good governance, Doval said that people losing faith in the system was a security threat.