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Border row: India wants broader solution

India wants comprehensive settlement of the vexed border dispute with China on the basis of agreed political parameters and is not in favour of demarcating the 4,057 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC) on piece-meal basis.

delhi Updated: Feb 08, 2012 01:20 IST
Shishir Gupta

India wants comprehensive settlement of the vexed border dispute with China on the basis of agreed political parameters and is not in favour of demarcating the 4,057 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC) on piece-meal basis.

Government sources said while Indian special representative Shivshankar Menon and his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo explored a number of options to settle the boundary issue during January 15-17 talks, the concerted view of the UPA government was a broad political solution to convert LAC into international boundary simultaneously in the disputed western, middle and eastern sectors.

One of the key proposals moved during the dialogue was to settle the borders in small blocks rather than go for a comprehensive settlement. However, this option was overruled by a section of the UPA as they did not want the middle sector--which has minimum difference of boundary perception--to be settled first while Beijing was still viewing Arunachal Pradesh as "South Tibet" and beefing up in Aksai Chin across Ladakh.

Beijing's solution to the boundary issue has been as it is where it is basis from 1960 to 1985 but further hardened in 1987 when it demanded settlement in the eastern sector too. Prior to that, Chinese wanted India to give up claims on Aksai Chin, with Beijing reciprocating the same in the eastern sector.

Even though this was the last time that State Councillor Dai Bingguo was attending the Special Representative talks, the two sides could not crystallise the formula to solve the pending boundary issue.

While the two sides agreed to keep the borders peaceful, there are testing times ahead with Delhi trying to match Beijing in terms of border deployments and infrastructure.