Border dispute major challenge for ties with India: China

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2016 19:18 IST
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad. China has said that border dispute is a major challenge for bilateral ties between the two countries. (AFP)

China has said a mix of historical issues such as the border dispute with India and some “emerging new issues” pose a “major challenge” to the development of bilateral ties.

The main task ahead for the two countries is to implement the consensus between leaders of both sides and to strengthen the momentum in the development of ties, Chinese assistant minister for foreign affairs Li Huilai said.

Huilai further said China’s position on India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) applies to all countries that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and does not target any nation.

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“As the two neighbouring countries, China and India have historical issues such as the border dispute and also some emerging new issues with the development of the relations between the two countries,” Li told PTI.

“How to deal with these issues is a major challenge for the relationship between the two countries,” he said without specifying the “emerging new issues”.

“The two sides have agreed to strengthen communication and dialogue, and to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through friendly consultations, and to manage and control these issues so that the overall development of the relationship between the two countries is not affected,” he added.

China and India have to implement the consensus between leaders of both countries and strengthen the good momentum in the development of ties, Li said.

“Over the past years, China and India have kept their relationship developing in a sound and steady manner. The leaders of the two countries have successfully exchanged visits and met repeatedly, reaching an important consensus on deepening the strategic partnership between China and India and building a closer partnership for development,” he said.

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who visited to China last week, said on Friday the differences between India and China on the boundary issue and other matters may have “some marginal effect” on bilateral trade but business between the two sides has been expanding.

The two countries last held talks in April to resolve their border dispute. China claims the dispute is confined to 2,000 km, mainly in Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector which it claims as part of southern Tibet, but India says the dispute covers the whole of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including Aksai Chin that was occupied by China during the 1962 war.

Asked why China blocked India’s bid to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar sanctioned by the UN Security Council, Li said, “The Chinese side always follows facts and fairly handles the listing matter of the 1267 Committee in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and rules of procedure. China is in sound communication with all parties including India on this matter.

“We also encourage direct communication of the parties concerned and enhancing mutual understanding, and work to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.”

Replying to a question on China’s opposition to India’s entry into the elite NSG when most of its members, including the US, are in its favour, Li said: “NSG members remain divided on the NSG membership of non-NPT countries. Therefore, we call for further and thorough discussions within the group in order to make decisions based on consultation.

“China’s position applies to all non-NPT countries and targets no one in particular. The fact is that many countries within the group also share China’s stance,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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