India, China meet in Beijing amid intermittent border flare-ups
Amid intermittent flare-ups along the disputed border, Indian and Chinese officials on Thursday met in Beijing for the latest round of talks under the mechanism set up for both countries to consult and coordinate border-related affairs.india Updated: Oct 08, 2015 22:41 IST
Amid intermittent flare-ups along the disputed border, Indian and Chinese officials on Thursday met in Beijing for the latest round of talks under the mechanism set up for both countries to consult and coordinate border-related affairs.
The meeting comes within a month of an incident in Ladakh where Chinese and Indian troops were said to have been involved in a standoff.
The meeting is also being held less than a week before the militaries of the two countries will engage in the annual anti-terrorism exercise to be held in Kunming in south China.
Indian diplomats here did not share details about the meeting though Pradeep Kumar Rawat, joint secretary (East Asia) is learnt to be leading the delegation from New Delhi which includes military officers besides bureaucrats.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China confirmed the meeting but did not share specifics either.
“…in October, China and India will hold new round of consultations. We hope that through these consultations we can work out how to better safeguard peace and tranquility in border areas and implement consensus reached by leaders,” spokesperson Hua Chunying said at the daily press briefing on Thursday.
“We believe the border area is peaceful and we have mentioned it on many occasions that peace and tranquility in border are important for bilateral relations and we hope that all sides can work together to maintain [peaceful] situation and work for a final settlement for the border issue,” she added.
The focus of the talks would be to maintain peace along the border and resolve issues of perceived incursions as quickly and smoothly as possible. Organising frequent meetings between officers and soldiers posted along the border would likely be on the agenda as well.
The last meeting of the working mechanism was held in New Delhi in October, 2014 in the backdrop of a standoff between the two militaries around the time President Xi Jinping was visiting India.
The mechanism was set up in January 2012 to ensure timely communication between the two countries on border situations, to appropriately handle border incidents and to carry out cooperative activities along the border.
This mechanism is different from the higher level of interaction on the border issue between the designated Special Representatives (SRs) of the two countries, known as the SR-level talks.
According to the working mechanism agreement, it will “undertake other tasks that are mutually agreed upon by the two sides, but will not discuss resolution of the Boundary Question or affect the Special Representatives Mechanism.”
It studies “ways and means to conduct and strengthen exchanges and cooperation between military personnel and establishments of the two sides in the border areas.”
Sun Shihai, director of the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, told state media in September that both Beijing and New Delhi were taking steps to cool border problems.
“Neither China nor India wants to see any confrontation or tension on the border. And we have only seen, occasionally, small-scale incidents in recent years”.