China suggested that its border problem with India be settled on the basis of the present line of actual control. In an interview to the editor of a New Delhi defence journal, the Chinese vice-premier, Deng Xiaoping, said; ‘‘I think the border problem between India and China can be solved in a package deal”. In the eastern sector, China could recognise “the so-called McMahon Line”, which was a leftover by history. Asked to elaborate, Deng said: “While we can recognise the present line of actual control to the easten sector, India should recognise the status quo in the western sector”. Deng said that if the two sides could not reach an accord on this problem, “then we can put it aside” . “This problem should not hinder development of relations between our two nations”. In reply to another question, Deng said there were no serious differences between the two countries on international issues. He said he was aware that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was keen to solve all disputes with China. On the Kashmir issue, Deng said: “This is a problem between India and Pakistan and should be settled amicably” (China has until now supported the Pakistani stand that the people of Kashmir should be allowed the right of self-determination). He said the Chinese foreign minister, Huang Hua, would visit India soon and invite Mrs Gandhi to visit China. China has been claiming about 1,15,000 sq km of Indian territory. Of this, it is actually in possession of about 25,000 sq km in the western sector.
Most states have agreed to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s suggestion to plan their power generating capacities at least 10 per cent ahead of the rate of growth in demand. The two-day conference of power ministers which ended in Delhi today, also agreed to the proposal for a 420 kv national power grid in the central sector to come to the aid of the states which run into distress.
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