India, China making `steady progress` on issues
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 22:42
Beijing: Ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit, India and China today concluded their 14th round of Special Representatives border talks, with both sides agreeing to seek a "fair deal" as they made "steady progress" on a framework to resolve the long-running boundary dispute.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, who held three rounds of talks with his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo, said a steady progress was being made with discussions focused on working out a framework to resolve the border dispute.

Menon and Dai discussed the whole gamut of issues bedeviling the two countries, including the resumption of defence exchanges put on hold by India following denial of visa to a top Indian General B S Jaswal.

Menon declined to go into details of the progress made during the border talks, citing sensitivities involved.

He said details can not be revealed as the talks are an ongoing progress but it is suffice to say that a steady progress was being made with discussions focused on working out a framework to resolve the dispute.

During an interaction with the Indian media here, Menon said he was "satisfied with the quality of interaction" on all issues to make Wen's visit a "landmark" one in a bid to take the bilateral ties forward.

However, he declined to discuss the Chinese response to India’s demand to roll back stapled visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir as well as resumption of defence exchanges by India, saying all issues were discussed.

The NSA also had a fruitful meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.

A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the border talks ended with a "joint pledge to seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides".

Summing up the two days talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing that "China is committed to settling the border dispute through friendly consultations and is ready to work with the Indian side to safeguard peace and stability in border areas."

Menon said Wen's visit to India would take place in the middle of next month and the Chinese Premier would proceed to Pakistan after the tour.

On the border dispute, Menon endorsed the Chinese statement, saying both sides agreed that a fair and a reasonable solution should be found which should be politically acceptable to both the countries.

He could discuss all issues with Dai since the last round of the Special Representatives talks have been expanded to include all bilateral matters.

India and China share 4,000-km of border. The focus of the dispute is mainly confined to Aaksai Chin in Ladakh region and Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as southern Tibet.

Menon said peace prevailed across the Sino-Indian borders.


First Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 22:42

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