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Chinese media mum on postponement of border talks

world Updated: Nov 27, 2011 19:31 IST

Chinese official media on Saturday maintained studied silence over postponement of 15th round of Sino-India border talks following reported differences over the Dalai Lama addressing a Buddhist Conference in New Delhi.

Official media in Beijing has not carried any report on the postponement of the Special Representatives level talks slated to be held on November 28 and 29 nor there is any official word in China about the reasons for the move.

For its part the Chinese foreign ministry has been stating for the past few weeks that the two sides were in the process of working out dates and declined to go beyond that.

However, Ma Jiali, a noted Chinese scholar on Sino-Indian relations, has said both the countries should make serious efforts to hold the border talks to be held between National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo.

"We are hoping that the talks would take place in time. The border talks are important part of improvement of relations between the two countries and both sides should approach it seriously," Ma, a senior research fellow on South Asia at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told PTI here when asked for his comments on the postponement of talks.

While declining to go into the controversy that the talks were put off over China's reported objections to Dalai Lama addressing the Buddhist conference to be held in New Delhi tomorrow, he said India should stick to its commitment not to permit any political activities of the Dalai Lama and his associates.

"India should take serious steps on the Dalai Lama issue," said Ma, who this year wrote a book 'Rising India'.

Significance was attached to the 15th round of talks as they are regarded as the last round to be held under the present leadership of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao who were set to retire next year.

While officials hope that the new dates for talks would be announced soon, the differences coupled with the recent row over China's objections to ONGC Videsh contract for oil exploration in the South China Sea cast a shadow on the bilateral relations, which witnessed a healthy development this year.