India, China agree on early settlement of boundary question

Special representatives of both countries had exchanged ideas on various confidence-building measures during their talks, India's external affairs ministry said. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 22, 2017, 01.38 PM (IST)

India and China on Friday agreed that an early settlement of boundary question served the fundamental interests of both countries, India's external affairs ministry said.

After a meeting between the Special Representatives (SRs) of India and China on the Boundary Question, Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India and Yang Jiechi, State Councillor, the external affairs ministry said the talks were "positive".

India and China also re-emphasised their commitment to achieve a fair, mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question at an early date, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

The MEA added that special representatives of both countries had exchanged ideas on various confidence-building measures during their talks.

"They acknowledged that as two large developing countries engaged in their national modernisation, relations between India and China transcend their bilateral dimensions and have significance for peace, stability and development of Asia and the world," the MEA statement said.

Ajit Doval and Yang Jiechi met along with senior officials for the 20th round of the India-China border talks, the first since the 72-day stand-off in the Doklam region near Sikkim. They later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him about their deliberations.

PM Modi asserted that a strong India-China relationship is important not only for the mutual benefit of their people, but also for the region and the world, the external affairs ministry said.

While the MEA statement did not say whether the Doklam issue was discussed, in Beijing, a spokesperson in Chinese foreign ministry avoided a question on whether it figured during the talks and instead said, "This mechanism is not only a high-level channel for dialogue on border issues between the two sides but also important platform for strategic communication between China and India."

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also said the SR mechanism was operating very well.

"We hope the Indian side will work with China to make most of the current mechanism to uphold peace and tranquillity of border areas so that we can create enabling conditions for bilateral relations," the spokesperson added.

The Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border that divides India and China at Arunachal Pradesh is a major irritant between the two countries with China claiming parts of Arunachal Pradesh and claiming parts of the northeastern state as its own territory.

The two countries recently ended one of their worst stand-off in decades in Doklam region.

India had objected to China constructing a road in the disputed region which is claimed by both China and Bhutan as its own territory.

The stand-off began on June 16 and ended on August 28 following a mutual agreement between India and China.

(With inputs from PTI)

Story highlights

India and China on Friday agreed that an early settlement of boundary question served the fundamental interests of both countries, India's external affairs ministry said.