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China Hopes for Early Settlement of Border Issue with India

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said during a meeting with an Indian official Tuesday that China hopes the China-India boundary question be settled at an early date.


"China sincerely hopes the boundary question be settled in a fair and reasonable way at an early date so that the border areas would become a bridge for eternal peace and friendly cooperation between our two countries," Jia told M. K. Narayanan, India's special representative and national security adviser.


Special representatives from China and India are holding their sixth meeting on border issues in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday, according to information released earlier by the Foreign Ministry.


Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Narayanan are co-hosting the meeting.


The border between China and India runs about 2,000 kilometers and the boundary line has never been demarcated officially. The disputed areas on the border were as large as 125,000 square kilometers, Liu Zhenmin, general director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Treaty and Law, said earlier in an interview with the Oriental Outlook magazine


Liu said China and India began to discuss border issues in the 1980s. To maintain peace and stability at the border areas, the two countries signed two agreements in 1993 and 1996 respectively.


In 2003, the heads of government of the two countries designated special representatives for demarcation work, who have since conducted five rounds of negotiations.


In April 2005, China and India signed an agreement of political guideline on demarcation during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India. The two countries also announced a strategic cooperative partnership.


Jia said he hopes the special representatives from the two countries would, proceeding from the overall interests of China-India ties, continue to make progress in reaching a framework for the settlement of the boundary question.


Jia said China and India, the two biggest developing nations in the world, are faced with same tasks of developing the economy and improving living standards.


He called on the two sides to proceed from a long-term and strategic perspective and take active measures to expand cooperation in all fields so as to continuously enrich the strategic cooperative partnership.


Narayanan said India is ready to join with China in actively promoting the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership and pushing for an early settlement of the boundary question.


Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing also met with Narayanan Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry.


With 14 neighboring countries and 22,000 kilometers of land boundaries, China is a country with the longest land border lines and the largest number of neighbors in the world,


China has signed border treaties or agreements with 12 neighboring countries, demarcating 90 percent of the land boundaries, according to the Foreign Ministry.


(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2005)


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