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Border issues

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 20:35 IST
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What is the border dispute with China all about?

The Chinese have two main claims on what India deems its own territory. One claim, in the western sector, is on Aksai Chin in the northeastern section of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

The other is in the eastern sector over a region included in the British-designated North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), the disputed part of which India renamed Arunachal Pradesh and created a state.

The Chinese never accepted the McMahon Line as the boundary between the two countries in the eastern Himalayas.

What steps have been taken to resolve the border dispute?

The first most important step taken to resolve the dispute was the signing of the Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement in Beijing on September 7, 1993.

The pact consists of confidence-building measures and conflict avoidance measures. An agreement on CBMs in the military field along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) was signed between the two sides on November 29, 1996.

A protocol on modalities for implementing military CBMs was signed on April 11, 2005.

What has been the outcome of these pacts?

The LAC has been relatively peaceful. The level of trust and understanding between the two countries has gone up.

The armies regularly conduct border meets and operate hotlines to resolve issues through peaceful consultation.

The two sides are committed not to use military capability against each other and seek mutually acceptable settlement of disputes.

When is the next round of border talks scheduled?

The special representatives of India and China - National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and vice-foreign minister Dai Bingguo - who have been mandated to provide political impetus to a resolution of the border dispute, are scheduled to meet before President Hu Jintao's visit to India on November 20.

This will enable them to work out a "concrete framework" within which the bilateral boundary dispute can be resolved.

Narayanan and Dai, who have held three meetings on the issue, last met on June 25-27 in Xian and Beijing for talks on an agreed framework for an India-China boundary settlement.

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