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China, India Hold 9th Boundary Talks
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China and India will hold their ninth round of boundary issue talks today and tomorrow in New Delhi, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.


Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, as China's special representative, will lead a delegation to attend the talks, ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular news briefing.


The two sides will maintain a discussion framework on solving the boundary issue according to consensus reached by leaders of the two neighboring countries, Liu said.


China hopes some progress could be made at "this very important meeting," he added.


The Sino-Indian talks on the boundary issue between special representatives of ministerial level started in New Delhi in October 2003.


During President Hu Jintao's visit to India last November, the two countries signed a joint declaration and vowed to resolve the boundary issue through peaceful means and in a fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable and proactive manner.


The statement proposed that the special representatives complete finalizing an appropriate framework for a final package settlement covering all sectors of the China-India boundary at an early date.


Commenting on the talks between Indian Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Liu said China, as the common neighbor, friend and partner of India and Pakistan, welcomed the positive progress in their relations and sincerely hoped that the two nations would solve their disputes through friendly consultation, to help jointly promote peace and prosperity in South Asia.


Mukherjee made a two-day visit to Pakistan Saturday and Sunday. During the visit, the two sides agreed to launch the fourth round of Composite Dialogue on March 13-14 in Islamabad, and hold the first meeting of the joint anti-terrorism mechanism before the end of March.


Liu confirmed that Christopher Hill, the US chief negotiator to the six-party nuclear talks, will visit Beijing this weekend.


Describing Hill as an important working partner for China in furthering the six-party talks, Liu said the US envoy will meet with his Chinese counterpart and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei.


But Liu declined to give further details on Hill's visit. "The Chinese and US sides are working on the date and schedule (of Hill's visit)," he said.


Hill, who is the US assistant secretary of state, will visit Seoul on January 19, Beijing on January 20 and Tokyo on January 21, according to the US State Department.


The six parties -- namely China, the US, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea -- convened their latest negotiations in Beijing last December, their first since North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test in October.


However, the talks ended without any breakthrough. The envoys agreed to resume the negotiations as early as possible, but no exact date was set.


Turning to Japan's ambition of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Liu said that China's position on UN reform remained unchanged.


He made the comments when asked whether there had been an exchange of views on UN reform between Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Philippines.


"We support necessary and reasonable reform of the UN Security Council aimed at strengthening its authority and efficiency. Representation of developing countries, particularly the African countries, should be increased in the Security Council," he said.


Liu said various parties still hold different views on the reform and he hoped the member states would conduct sufficient consultations in order to find a solution accepted by the majority of countries.


In another development, Liu said China is delighted to see the major progress of Nepal's peace process, and hopes that concerned parties of Nepal will keep the peace process going in a bid to benefit the Nepali people and contribute to regional peace, stability and development.


The Nepali interim legislature was set up on Monday evening after the promulgation of constitution by the former House of Representatives, which was dissolved shortly after its unanimous approval of the interim constitution.


(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2007)

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