India, China continue to thrash out border differences

24 March 2015

India and China on Monday continued their 18th round of talks on the boundary issue in Delhi as Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was appointed the special representative for the talks.

Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar, a former Indian envoy to China, were among the Indian officials who held talks with the Chinese delegation at Hyderabad House in New Delhi to resolve the dispute regarding the around 4,000-km boundary.

The two sides exchanged views on the boundary issue and reviewed the progress made so far, as the two sides pave the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Beijing in May.

It was the first such meeting after the National Democratic Alliance came to power last May with Narendra Modi as the prime minister. Doval was appointed special representative for the boundary talks in November.

The border talks took place almost five months after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India. The visit was overshadowed by transgression of Chinese troops in Chumar area of Ladakh region and was later resolved.

The government informed parliament last month that there have been no "incursions" by China into Indian territory, but there has been transgression due to different border perceptions.

It said there was no commonly delineated LAC (Line of Actual Control) between India and China and there were areas along the border where India and China have differing perception of LAC.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on Monday, "India-China delegations led by Nat Security Adviser Doval & State Councillor Yang Jiechi talk on boundary question".

Yang, who arrived in Delhi on Sunday night, is to meet Modi today before he leaves.

India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, during her visit to Beijing in February, said the Modi government "is committed to exploring an early settlement".

Yang's visit also comes ahead of Modi's visit to China, planned for May.

Yang has previously led talks on the long-running boundary question with the then NSA Shivshankar Menon. (See: Chinese, Indian security chiefs meet for border talks).

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