(China Daily) China and India are taking tangible steps to thrash out a reasonable solution to their decades-old border dispute.
Special representatives for the two sides Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Advisor MK Narayanan held the 10th round of their boundary talks in India on Friday.
“The whole world is watching the developments in China and India and we must cooperate for the common benefit of our people,” Dai told reporters on Sunday after talks with Narayanan.
The meeting aims at pinning down a framework agreement for demarcating the 2,000-kilometer frontier as a prelude to a final package deal to resolve this contentious issue.
This continues the full implementation of an 11-point road map agreed between leaders of both nations when Premier Wen Jiabao visited India in 2005.
The fresh round of talks between the Asian giants bears testament to their determined efforts to settle the sticking point in bilateral ties based on the guiding principles and political parameters already agreed upon.
During a meeting between Premier Wen and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in January, the two sides agreed to pursue border talks with “greater vigour and greater innovativeness”.
The consensus, shared by President Hu Jintao and Singh on pursuing an appropriate final solution to the dispute at an early date in the joint declaration inked during President Hu’s visit to India in November last year, has fueled expectations of an end of the main source of bilateral discord.
This round of talks comes as rapport has improved in the recent past as the neighbors settle problems and seek solutions acceptable to both sides.
They have appointed special representatives to explore the framework for the boundary settlement from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship, and the nine rounds of talks that began in 2003 have made progress.
As a key step that should lead to the realization of the proposal from both leaders to settle the border row politically, rather than technically, this round of talks in India forms the tough leg of the road map and indicates the political will of both sides to expedite the negotiation process leading to a final settlement.
The Sino-Indian boundary has never been formally delineated, although a traditional frontier exists between the two nations that can be divided into eastern, middle and western sections.
The border skirmish between the neighbors in 1962 were a serious setback for bilateral relations.
Involving religious, cultural and historical factors, the vexed issue is by no means merely a territorial conflict that can be settled quickly.
Nevertheless, the current border dispute should not stand in the way of further growth in bilateral ties.
“Through several rounds of talks, China and India both have adopted a more realistic and self-restrained attitude.” Fu Xiaoqiang, a researcher with the Institute of South Asia, under the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told China Daily.