September 26, 2013 6:13:41 pm
China on Thursday said that a border consultative mechanism with India has played a “positive role” and could be leveraged to bring about a final settlement of the boundary issue.
The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs launched in 2012 has played a “positive role in enhancing cooperation and understanding between the border related departments and the timely treatment of border related issues and stabilisation of border situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hing Lei told the media.
The mechanism mooted by former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in 2010 will hold its fourth meeting here from September 29 to 30 to finalise a new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) stated to be more comprehensive in dealing with tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The mechanism,headed by the foreign ministry officials of both sides played a key role in resolving the tensions sparked off by the incursion of Chinese troops in Depsang Valley this year besides other intrusions along the LAC.
Significantly,Hong said,the mechanism could be leveraged to resolve the vexed boundary dispute.
“China is ready to work with India to leverage this working mechanism to truly uphold the long term peace and tranquillity in border areas so as to create a sound atmosphere for the final settlement of the boundary question and the sound and stable development of bilateral relations,” he said.
Tensions are on the rise as India has stepped up infrastructure development along the nearly 4000 kilometres long boundary,building more roads and setting up watch towers.
India and China have held 16 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary issue so far.
The BDCA agreement was expected to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit here in late October.
Recurring incursions by PLA troops was expected to figure high on the agenda in Singh’s talks with the Chinese leaders.
Skipping any reference to BDCA,which was also initially mooted by China,Hong said during the meeting of the mechanism here the two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on the border situation.
“The exchanges and cooperation between the bilateral border departments and the specific measures are to uphold border peace and tranquillity,” Hong said. “Upholding border peace and tranquillity is a joint promise of the two sides and important foundation for the sound development of bilateral relations. Currently the border areas between our two countries remain peaceful and stable on
the whole. The border troops between our two countries have regular exchanges and meeting and border related department from our two countries have close communication and coordination,” he pointed out.
Besides border mechanism,officials from various ministries of both the countries are holding hectic parleys ahead of Singh’s visit to finalise a broad agenda for a successful trip which was also expected to focus on follow-up action being initiated by China to address trade deficit which crossed over USD 28 billion in 2012.
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