China for border negotiations with India

China proposed to `advance` the negotiation process with India on resolving the boundary issue.

Beijing: China on Friday proposed to "advance"
the negotiation process with India on resolving the boundary
issue in view of the prevailing "good atmosphere", even as it
played down any impact of a sharp hike in its defence budget
on bilateral ties saying it poses no threat to any country.

The Special Representative mechanism created by both the
countries to resolve the boundary issue has brought about
"some momentum" to bilateral efforts to resolve the problem,
Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of China`s
national legislature, told the media here.

"We seek to advance the negotiation process on the
settlement framework so as to resolve this boundary question
which has been created and left by history as soon as
possible," Li, a former Foreign Minister, said replying to a
question on concerns in India and other neighbours about China
raising its defence budget.

He is currently the spokesman for the National People`s
Congress (NPC), which begins its annual session from tomorrow
to consider the draft of the new defence budget as well as the
12th five-year plan.

"At represent there are friendly and stable relations
between China and India. This has created a good atmosphere
for the two sides to resolve the boundary question through
consultations," he said.

Announcing a sharp increase in China`s defence budget
from the previous USD 77 to USD 91.5 billion, which is due to
be approved by NPC, Li defended the hike saying that India too
increased its defence expenditure, which in the GDP terms was
more than that of China`s.

"It is true that China`s defence budget is raised a bit,
but the ratio of the defence spending in the country`s GDP
remains very low, much lower than those of many other
countries," he told a press conference for the annual
parliamentary session.

While China`s military spending amounts to about 1.4 per
cent of its GDP, "that ratio in India is much higher than two
per cent as far as I know," he said in response to a question
on whether China`s defence budget increase would put pressure
on India and other neighbours.

He said China`s defence policy is defensive in character
and "every bit of China`s limited military strength will be
used for safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity and this will not pose a threat to any

People of China and India have a "proud historical and
cultural traditions... No force can sow divisions between the
people of China and India and the trend of friendship between
Chinese and Indian people is an irresistible trend of
history," Li said.

Both countries have reached a consensus on maintaining
peace and tranquillity at their borders before the dispute is
eventually settled, he said adding that Beijing is ready to
work with its "friendly neighbour" to implement relevant
agreements to maintain a stable situation in border areas,
which is conducive to the interests of both the countries.

The Special Representatives held 14 rounds of talks to
resolve the dispute over 3500 km boundary.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh is part Southern Tibet
besides staking its claim on Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir.

Li said that in recent years China has enhanced its
friendly relations with Asian neighbours, including India.

There have been more frequent high-level exchanges,
deeper mutual political trust, more integration of economic
interests and further expansion of people-to-people and
cultural exchanges, he said.