Singh, Wen discussed difficult bilateral issues: Sources | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Singh, Wen discussed difficult bilateral issues: Sources

delhi Updated: Nov 20, 2011 22:55 IST
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All difficult issues, including boundary question, came up during the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Wen Jiabao in Bali and they said these would be worked out.

Official sources said the meeting was held in a good atmosphere on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia on Friday.

All the "difficult issues" were "mentioned", whether it be the boundary question or river water disputes, the sources said. The leaders said "we will work them out" and ask officials to work on them.

With regard to the stapled visa issue, the sources said it cannot be claimed that it has been sorted out or otherwise as "some bureaucrat can staple a visa tomorrow".

The two countries saw a strain in their relations in 2009 after China started issuing visas on loose sheets of paper to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, implying that it did not consider the state a part of India.

The matter came to light when Indian Army's Northern Commander B S Jaswal was issued such a visa. India reacted strongly and swiftly by suspending defence dialogue, only to resume this year.

"These are kinds of issues on which relations can go up and down. These issues come and go," they said, adding the important part is what position China adopts on Jammu and Kashmir and whether it continues to hold that it is something to be sorted out between India and Pakistan.

That position has been held by China since the then Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited India and Pakistan when he articulated that at both places.

"If it was worse than that, then I draw conclusions," the sources said, pointing out that this was the reason why India reacted immediately when the stapled visa issue came to light.

The Prime Minister held talks with Wen against the backdrop of the South China Sea issue row and told him that India's oil exploration in the disputed maritime area is "purely commercial activity".

The sources said Singh and Wen also discussed the Eurozone issue and the uncertainty it has created in the international system, which requires both India and China to work together. They also discussed the coordination between the two countries witnessed at G-20.