In order to resolve the India-China boundary dispute, New Delhi should cede the Tawang tract in Arunachal Pradesh, Dai Bingguo, the Chinese diplomat who led the special representative dialogue with India for over a decade, has told a Beijing-based publication.
If India ceded the Tawang tract then China would make concessions in Aksai Chin, he told the China-India Dialogue magazine, published by the official China International Publishing Group.
The Times of India reported today that Dai, who retired in 2013, is highly respected in diplomatic circles. Citing sources, the report said that it is highly unlikely that Dai would have made such sensitive remarks without clearance from top leaders of the Communist Party.
"If the Indian side takes care of China's concerns on the eastern section of the border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India's concerns elsewhere," said Dai, as quoted by TOI.
Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is home to the Tawang monastery, the largest in India, revered by Tibetan and Indian Buddhists.
China has laid claims to Tawang and most of Arunachal prades, claiming it is a part of Tibet, refering to the Indian state as south Tibet.
"The disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China's Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction," said Dai as quoted by India Today. "The major reason the boundary question persists is that China's reasonable requests have not been met.
"China and India are now standing in front of the gate towards a final settlement," he said. "The gate is a framework solution based on meaningful and mutually accepted adjustments. Now, the Indian side holds the key to the gate."
After the 1962 war, Chinese forces had withdrawn from Tawang.