India-China talks next week

Last Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 12:19

New Delhi: The fresh round of India-China Special Representative talks, which were postponed in November after the Chinese protested the Dalai Lama`s scheduled
participation in a programme here, will now be held on January 16-17 in the capital.

In a statement issued today, the Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian delegation to the Talks will be led by National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon while the Chinese delegation will be led by State Councillor Dai Bingguo.
"In addition to discussions on the India-China boundary question, the two sides will hold discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest," the ministry said.

The 15th round of talks between the Special Representatives of India and China were to be held on November 28-29, 2011 in New Delhi but were postponed after the Chinese demanded that the Global Buddhist Congregation being held here from November 28 be cancelled as Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was scheduled to address it.

The Chinese are first said to have asked for the Dalai Lama`s address to be cancelled and when New Delhi refused to oblige, they demanded that the event itself be cancelled, sources said.

New Delhi is believed to have told Beijing that India is
a democratic country and there was no restriction on
freedom of speech. Hence, China`s demand could not be met.

Dalai Lama is a persona non grata with the Chinese
government.

The 14th round of talks had taken place in Beijing in
November, 2010.

Beijing is stated to have conveyed to New Delhi in
November that talks cannot be simultaneously when the Dalai
Lama was addressing a conference in Delhi to which the Indian
side said that let fresh dates be worked out.

After China called off the talks, Ministry of External
Affairs had issued a terse statement, "We are looking forward
to the 15th round of SRs talks in the near future and the two
sides remain in touch to find convenient dates for the
meeting."

Dai and Menon are expected to discuss putting in place
a mechanism for border management mooted by Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao during his visit to India in 2010.

A decision to set up the mechanism was taken at a
meeting Wen had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sanya in
April 2011.

The dialogue at the level of SRs is a three-stage process
which started in 2005 with the declaration of the Guiding
Principles and Political Parameters.

The second stage was identifying the framework for
resolution of the boundary dispute and the third stage to
apply that framework.

The second and the third stages are the "hardest" part
of the negotiations and efforts are underway to conclude
these," the sources had said.

The SR mechanism was established in 2003, when Menon was
India`s ambassador to Beijing.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 12:19

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