Beijing: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China in May, a leading Chinese daily has said that New Delhi and Beijing need to show flexibility and innovation to solve the border issue.
In an article in the Global Times, Lan Jianxue of the China Institute of International Studies, said that India and China “can reach a consensus based on not only mutual understanding and accommodation, but also a strong will of showing flexibility as well as innovation in the near future”.
Lan said that during her visit to China earlier this month, India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi “reached a consensus that the resolution of the border dispute should not be left to future generations, which shows the eagerness from both sides to end this long-standing controversy”.
While stating that it might be too soon to anticipate a solution during Modi's visit, the article stated that hopes have been raised as the Indian minister has said that Modi's visit would be an “action-oriented visit”.
“If there is an 'out-of-box solution', it is likely a breakthrough over the eastern part of the border, which contains the most controversial area between China and India,” Lan stated.
Describing the McMahon Line that runs through the eastern Himalayas as “illegal”,
the expert on international affairs said: “This is a line that China has never accepted. If India won't make adjustments over the line, there will be no suggestion whatsoever that the two sides are any closer to agreeing.”
Mentioning that the Indian government has not given “any signal of goodwill for adjustment over this issue” Lan said that the onus was on India “to adopt a more proactive approach”.
The article, however, pointed out that Sushma Swaraj said during her visit that Sino-Indian ties have reached "a level where we have interactions in fields that could not have been imagined some years ago".
“Now that Swaraj has put forward the potential 'out-of-box solution' this time, we have every reason to expect that the logjam could be broken and a new beginning could be made. But it remains to be seen what dedication Modi will put into a practical settlement for the bitter territorial dispute,” Lan stated.