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India, China review boundary talks

The two Govts in 2003 had appointed Special Representatives to settle issue.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 14:35 IST

Efforts to find a political settlement to the vexed Sino-Indian boundary dispute by their Special Representatives were reviewed during a meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, official sources said in Beijing on Wednesday.

Mukherjee, who had called on Wen on Tuesday evening before leaving for the northwest Chinese city of Dunhuang on the second leg of his six-day official visit to China, emphasised the need for "political will" to resolve the boundary dispute which has marred India-China bilateral ties from blossoming.

Mukherjee pointed out that the Special Representatives of India and China on the boundary issue have agreed on the political parameters and guiding principles.

Wen is understood to have opined that there was a broad agreement and work should start on the basis of what has been decided as political parameters and guiding principles during his visit to India in April 2005.

The two governments in June 2003 appointed Special Representatives to address the border issue. The seventh round of talks was held in India in March.

India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sq kms of Jammu and Kashmir including 5,180 sq km illegally ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963.

On the other hand, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.

Pranab said the Chinese Premier hailed the just-inked MoU on defence cooperation and said it will provide the framework and the authorities on both sides should work out the details for implementation.

Wen also mooted a proposal that India and China should try to work out a common approach in various multilateral fora on issues which both sides consider to be in their mutual interest.

The Defence Minister also had a delegation-level meeting with the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, General Guo Boxiong.

The two sides had a frank exchange of views on various dimensions of defence cooperation.

Modernisation of Armed Forces by the two countries figured prominently at the discussion, official sources said.

Both the sides appreciated that in the changing scenario, the two countries will pursue policies to upgrade and modernise their armed forces keeping in view their threat perceptions.

Mukherjee said the people of the two countries shared a common desire for peaceful and friendly relations.

The Indian government would work with China to push for a strategic and cooperative partnership based on the five principles of the peaceful co-existence, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Mukherjee as saying.

Responding to Mukherjee's remarks, Guo said that Chinese and Indian armed forces are forging a sound relationship of friendship and trust.

He noted that the two largest developing nations enjoyed a great potential in developing bilateral ties.