Beijing: Seeking a package solution for the boundary issue through a negotiation process, China on Saturday said it would like to work with India to build up consensus in order to settle the problem at an early date.
"China always holds that the two countries should seek a package solution of the boundary issue through negotiation based on the spirit of peace, friendship, equality-based consultation, mutual respect and mutual understanding," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
"It serves the fundamental interests....," Liu said in response to questions on Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen (retd) J J Singh's reported comments that India should "move away from its non-negotiable stand on the border dispute with China."
However, the Arunachal Pradesh Raj Bhawan said that media reports about Gen Singh's statement on border dispute with China "have been purportedly taken from a speech and the comments have been quoted out of context."
Liu, on his part, said that "China would like to work with India to build up consensus and speed up the framework negotiation process in order to settle the boundary issue at an early date."
Surprisingly Gen Singh's reported remarks were not carried by the Chinese official media which in the past few days was more focused on the successful launch of Agni V and its implications for China.
Elaborating on the Chinese perspective on Gen Singh's reported comments, Liu Youfa, Vice President of the Foreign Ministry's think tank 'China Institute of International Studies' (CIIS), said Beijing sees it in a positive light.
"To give and take on the vexed border issue, which is the only remaining stumbling bloc between both the countries, the two countries should also take a new look at original positions both sides have taken so far," he said.
"We have small area of disputes and the give and take should be concentrated in the areas that have been occupied by both sides. The concept refers to swap of land and the focus should be on critical areas," Youfa said.
He said both countries should start comparing notes for solution and should try to set out a roadmap on "how to swap the land in question."
"After that border line can be sealed. It is possible as it is the only remaining problem that needs to be tackled between both the countries," Youfa said.
It is a political decision by both the governments and it is possible as both countries enjoy very good relations at present, he said.
Such a solution is possible as both India and China are members of BRICS, (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), G-20 and RIC, (Russia, India and China) fora and share cooperative partnership in politics, trade, cultural and educational areas, he said.
The two countries have held 15 rounds of border talks so far.
Though India and China have been holding discussions to resolve the border issue since 1980, the process got an impetus after they agreed to hold talks by designated Special Representatives in 2003.
The two countries signed agreements in 1993 and 1996 to maintain peace and stability in border areas besides inking a political guiding principle on demarcation of the boundary in 2005.
At the 15th round of talks in January, the two countries established a new working mechanism to resolve any untoward incident at the border and also agreed to prepare a joint record on the progress made so far in the talks between them on the boundary question.
India asserts that the dispute covered about 4000 km, while China claims that it is confined to around 2000 km, including Arunachal Pradesh which it refers as Southern Tibet.
First Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 20:25