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
"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 vigor and
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
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 was 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
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 April 24, 2007)