New Chinese leadership keen to resolve border row: Karat
Beijing: Ahead of talks between India and China on the boundary question, CPI (M) chief Prakash Karat Thursday said the new Chinese leadership is interested in speeding up efforts to resolve the differences on the issue.
"They are interested in speeding it. They are realistic that both sides have to sit and sort it out. This Special Representatives meeting will set the tone", Karat, who held talks with top Chinese leaders here, told PTI in an interview.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and his new Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi are scheduled to meet here later this month to hold the 16th round of boundary talks to discuss a framework for a border settlement.
In a rare gesture, the Communist Party of China (CPC) scheduled several high-level meetings for Karat.
Apart from his meeting with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and other officials in the past two days, Karat today met the powerful Standing Committee member of the ruling CPC Liu Yunshan.
During his week-long trip, Karat will also visit some provinces to see developmental projects.
Karat said that during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to India, both sides agreed that the Special Representatives will provide necessary thrust to the border talks.
The two sides reached an agreement on guiding principles in 2005 and reached a stage to work out the framework for settlement of the issue, he said.
"The understanding on the Chinese side is that it is a complex matter and may take time but it should not stop us from developing ties in other areas", he said.
Karat, who is heading a five-member delegation, is visiting China after an eight-year gap even though a number of his party delegations have been visiting here every year for study and interaction as the two parties share political ties.
He said that the Chinese leadership has emphasised to him that Li's visit to India was significant as the Premier wanted it to be his first trip abroad after taking over the job to send a strong signal of the importance China attached to its relations with India.
On the tensions created by Chinese incursions into Ladakh in the Daulat Beig Oldi sector ahead of Li's visit, Karat said the issue did not figure in his talks with the leadership.
The Chinese do not think it is a major issue, he said.