Must pursue border settlement with China as strategic objective: India

A day after a top Chinese official stressed on the need to “redouble efforts” for settlement of the boundary dispute at an early date,India on Tuesday said it should be pursued as a “strategic objective” by the two countries.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:May 14, 2013 1:35 am

A day after a top Chinese official stressed on the need to “redouble efforts” for settlement of the boundary dispute at an early date,India on Tuesday said it should be pursued as a “strategic objective” by the two countries.

“Our conviction is that an early settlement of a boundary question will advance the basic interests of the two countries and we,therefore,feel that it should be pursued as strategic objective by both countries,” said Syed Akbaruddin,official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.

Sources said by defining the early resolution of the boundary dispute as a “strategic objective”,New Delhi is giving “topmost priority” to the issue.

The sources said that in the agreements between India and China in 1993 and 1996 on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) issue,there were clarifications on the differing perceptions on LAC and there were exchanges on it,but around 2002,this discussion went off the table from the Chinese side.

The MEA spokesperson on Tuesday emphasised on the need to have “clarification and confirmation” on the differing perceptions of the LAC,saying if there was any forward movement on the proposal “we stand ready on that”.

He was responding to comments made by Qin Gang,spokesperson and DG of Information Department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,who on Monday stressed for an urgent need to “redouble our efforts” to push forward framework negotiations for boundary settlement so that the two sides can reach a fair and mutually acceptable solution at an early date.

Noting that the issue has been discussed at Special Representative-level who have held 15 rounds of talks so far,Akbaruddin said,“Now,they are in discussions on the second phase which is related to the framework for the resolution of the boundary question.”

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