Beijing: China on Thursday said it was working with India to set up a new joint consultation and coordination mechanism on boundary affairs and asserted that it was strictly abiding by the agreements reached between the two countries in the past to maintain peace along the border.
During the BRICS summit in China in April this year, Indian and Chinese leaders reached in principle consensus to set up such a mechanism, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a media briefing here, reacting to reports that Indian
Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved it.
"The new mechanism will handle major border affairs that have a bearing on peace and tranquillity in the border areas at a diplomatic level. At present two sides are in depth communication over specific matters such as content of the
mechanism and operating methods of it at the working level," Jiang said.
While the two countries strive to resolve the boundary problem, peace should be maintained along the borders to enable them to improve bilateral ties, she said.
"On China-India border question, our position is consistent and clear. We hold that it should be resolved fairly through consultation on equal footing and seek solution acceptable to both.”
"Before the final settlement, both sides should safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border area so that border question will not affect normal development of bilateral relations. It is the consensus reached by Indian and Chinese leaders," Jiang said.
Asked about reported intrusion by Chinese troops for destroying some bunkers of the Indian army, Jiang said "as far as China is concerned we strictly abide by the agreements and the spirit of consensus reached by the two sides and have never taken action that jeopardised peace and tranquillity in the border area."
The new border mechanism, which was aimed at dealing with allegations of intrusions and other violations, was proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to India in December last year to prevent an escalation of crisis created by local incidents between the two armies.
It is in addition to the border talks mechanism headed by Special Representatives of the two countries, which meet every year to resolve the vexed boundary issue.
The talks mechanism is headed by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and China`s top diplomat Dai Bingguo. It has so far met 13 times.
India asserts that the disputed area covers about 4,000 km, while China insists that it is confined to around 2,000 km, including Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as Southern Tibet.