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Narayanan positive about Indo-China talks

India has admitted that there are obstacles in the resolution of the four-decade old border dispute between both nations.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 22:04 IST

Ahead of the next round of talks with China on the border issue in New Delhi next week, India on Saturday admitted that that there were "problems" on the way but said it was hopeful of making further progress in resolution of the four-decade old dispute.

"There are problems. But we have made some progress," National Security Adviser MK Narayanan told reporters aboard Air India One carrying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his team to Cebu in the central Philippines to attend the India-ASEAN and the East Asia Summit.

"From China's point of view, there is a problem left over from history," he said ahead of a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday on the sidelines of his summit with 10 leaders of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations.

Manmohan Singh and Wen are likely to take stock of their economic and strategic relationship and also discuss the boundary dispute that has shadowed ties between them, reliable sources said.

"Guiding principles and political parameters (finalized during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to India two years ago) will provide the backdrop for resolving the issue," Narayanan stressed days before his talks with Chinese Special Representative and Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo in New Delhi Tuesday.

Dai will also visit Khajuraho, the historic town in Madhya Pradesh famous for its caves carved with erotic sculptures.

The two countries set up the mechanism of special representatives for the settlement of the boundary question during the visit of the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Beijing in 2003.

India and China set the resolution of their boundary dispute as the strategic goal of their burgeoning relationship in the context of a new 'Asian century' during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in November last year.

Days before Hu's visit, the Chinese envoy to India asserted that Arunachal Pradesh was a part of China - a claim that was promptly rebutted by New Delhi.