China and India should strive to hard break new ground to resolve the festering border issue and work towards expanding the strategic partnership between the two countries, a top Chinese official said on Friday.
Making introductory remarks at the beginning of the 16th round of
talks between special representatives (SR) to resolve the border issue, newly appointed SR, Yang Jiechi said both representatives have a "lofty mission and heavy responsibilities".
Yang was speaking at the beginning of his talks with National Security Advisor, Shiv Shankar Menon, the SR for India, at the, Diaoyutai State Guest House on Friday.
Menon is scheduled to meet Premier Li Keqiang later this afternoon.
Yang, who was the foreign minister earlier, took on the SR’s responsibility after the Chinese leadership change earlier this year; he was appointed as State Councillor and took over as SR from Dai Bingguo.
"The two SRs have a lofty mission and heavy responsibilities. I stand ready to work with you to build on the work of our predecessors and break new ground, to strive for the settlement of the China-India boundary question and to make greater progress in the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership in the new period," Yang said.
He said the meeting in March in Durban this year between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was an important bilateral one.
"Recently Prime Minister Li Keqiang made an important visit to India. This important meeting (between Xi and Singh) and (Li’s) visit injected fresh and strong momentum into the further development of our bilateral relationship," Yang said.
Menon agreed that the talks were taking place at an important stage of China-India relation.
"As you have said we are meeting at a moment when India-China relations have achieved a momentum and are moving in the right direction. It is our conviction that we are at a moment of strategic opportunity for this relationship," Menon said.
While both SRs spoke about a momentum in the relationship, this round of the talks is taking place within two months after India accused China of sending troops into its territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The incursion issue took nearly three weeks to resolve and left a bitter aftertaste for India; ironically, the incursion came after Xi and Singh’s meeting and barely weeks before Li’s visit to India.