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India-China border talks begin

Special Correspondent

Special Representatives will also interact on issues of “mutual interest”

— Photo: V.V. Krishnan

FOR RESOLVING ISSUE: National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan with Dai Bingguo, State Councillor and Special Representative on the boundary issue of the People’s Republic of China, before the India-China delegation-level talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: The Special Representatives of India and China, M.K. Narayanan and Dai Bingguo, began the 13th round of talks on the boundary issue with a wider ambit here on Friday.

Bilateral issues

Besides continuing with the “second stage” of boundary talks, they are also discussing bilateral and regional issues ahead of several bilateral high-level exchanges, including President Pratibha Patil’s visit to Beijing and a “top” Chinese leader’s arrival here later this year.

The Special Representatives would also interact on issues of “mutual interest” such as the global economic meltdown, climate change and trade cooperation.

“The talks would be carried on in accordance with the mandate given to us by our leaders. This time in keeping with the very high stature of the declaration....we too intend to improve the entire state of relations to see how we can further strengthen our boundaries,” said Mr. Narayanan.

“Second stage”

Both were involved in the “second stage” of talks since their launch in 2005. Mr. Narayanan this time is being assisted by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who was previously the Indian envoy in Beijing. Informed sources said the immediate aim of the border talks was to agree on an outline for a final package.

Once this consensus is reached, both sides could get down to the actual nuts and bolts of the whole issue – negotiating the demarcation and delineation of the border.

Though there are prospects of progress being made in the current stage, sources warned against expectations of an early breakthrough on the “final package settlement.”

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