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Border talks on table during PM’s China visit

Indian and Chinese special representatives will meet again during the January visit of PM Manmohan Singh to Beijing, reports Amit Baruah.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2008 05:51 IST
Amit Baruah
Amit Baruah
Hindustan Times

MK Narayanan and Dai Bingguo, Indian and Chinese special representatives tasked to resolve the boundary dispute, will meet again during the January 13-15 visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Beijing.

Official sources told the Hindustan Times that both countries were keen that the Special Representatives speed up their work to arrive at an early border settlement. “We want to arrive at a framework, but there is no deadline,” the sources added.

Days ahead of his visit, the Prime Minister stated on Monday that India-China relations were “in very good shape” even as efforts continued to resolve the “complicated” border dispute.

“The process of resolving this issue is on...It is a complicated matter,” Singh told presspersons on the sidelines of a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“I am satisfied,” he said about the ongoing discussions between the Special Representatives.

Following an agreement on guiding principles and parameters to resolve the boundary dispute in April 2005, the Special Representatives, in their 11 rounds of talks, have been trying to hammer out a “package solution” to the boundary dispute on the eastern and western sides of the border.

Sounding an optimsic note, the Prime Minister remarked that India had “very good” relations with China. “My visit is a return visit,” he said, referring to visits by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to India in 2006 and 2005.

On Friday, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told PTI, “The visit is expected to be successful. But if you are expecting that there would be any dramatic turnaround on certain issues, which are long-pending, then it would perhaps be too much.”

“But we are working in the right direction. In some areas we are moving very fast and in some we are slow but steady,” he said in what appeared to be a reference to the growing trade relationship and the border negotiations.