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China backs India's bid for U.N. Council seat

By Amit Baruah



A LANDMARK PACT: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exchanging documents after signing the agreements of mutual cooperation in different fields, at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday. — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

NEW DELHI, APRIL 11. China today came out in support of India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations' Security Council as the two countries upgraded their ties to the status of a "strategic and cooperative partnership." They also agreed on a set of 11 political parameters and Guiding Principles to resolve the boundary dispute.

A total of 11 agreements were signed and a report of the Joint Study Group on trade and economic cooperation was made public as the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the visiting Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, held trailblazing discussions here today.

As promised, China recognised "Sikkim State" as part of the "Republic of India" and handed over a new, official map to India clearly showing Sikkim as part of Indian territory.

The two countries reached agreement on the "modalities" to implement the confidence-building measures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by enhancing contacts between the two militaries, giving previous information of planned exercises, adding border meeting points in the eastern and middle sectors of the LAC and eschewing the use of force in any "face-to-face" situation.

A joint statement said that India and China agreed that their relations had now acquired a "global and strategic" character. "The leaders of the two countries have, therefore, agreed to establish an India-China strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity."

The two Prime Ministers also agreed to appoint a joint task force to study the feasibility of and the benefits that may flow from an India-China regional trading arrangement while setting up a "financial dialogue mechanism" to facilitate diversifying economic cooperation.

Briefing presspersons on the talks, the Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, said that both Dr. Singh and Mr. Wen stated that they had the political will to resolve their boundary dispute.

According to the joint statement, both countries were convinced that an early settlement of the boundary question would advance the basic interests of the two countries and should, therefore, be pursued as a "strategic objective."

Guiding Principles

The "Guiding Principles" stated that the two countries were seeking a "political settlement" of the boundary question in the context of their overall and long-term interests. "Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means," the agreement said.

"Both sides should, in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual understanding, make meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments to their respective positions on the boundary question, so as to arrive at a package settlement to the boundary question. The boundary settlement must be final, covering all sectors of the India-China boundary," it said.

"In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas," the accord said. The two Special Representatives would now work to set up a framework for a settlement.

The process of exchanging maps to clarify the LAC would continue parallel to the work of the Special Representatives on the basis of already agreed parameters, with the objective of arriving at a common understanding of the Line's alignment. The two countries also agreed to take steps for the "controlled release" of accumulated water of the "landslide dam" on the Pareechu river

"The two sides agreed to cooperate in the field of energy security and conservation, including, among others, encouraging relevant departments and units of the two countries to engage in the survey and exploration of petroleum and natural gas resources in third countries." India and China also signed agreements on mutual assistance in customs matters, expansion of civil aviation links, two protocols on phyto-sanitary requirements for exporting bitter gourd and grapes to China, a protocol on forming an India-China Film Cooperation Commission and a memorandum of understanding for constructing an Indian-style Buddhist temple in Luoyang, China.

For text of relevant documents, go to

http://www.meaindia.nic.in/evhome.htm

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