New Delhi: Indian and Chinese officials, who are part of the newly established border management panel, concluded their second round of talks on Friday after exchanging ideas on additional measures to maintain peace and on steps to build greater trust and confidence along their undemarcated borders, a foreign ministry statement said.
“The discussions took place in a cordial, constructive and cooperative atmosphere. The two delegations reviewed developments in the India-China border areas since the first meeting of the mechanism and acknowledged with satisfaction that peace and tranquility continued to be maintained due to the efforts of both sides,” the statement said. “The two delegations also exchanged ideas on additional measures for maintaining peace and tranquility as well as further steps to build greater trust and confidence between the two sides.”
The Indian delegation was led by Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary (East Asia) and comprised representatives of the ministries of external affairs, defence and home affairs as well as members of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The Chinese delegation was lead by ambassador Wang Xiaodu, special representative, department of boundary and oceanic affairs, ministry of foreign affairs, and comprised representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs and national defence of the People’s Republic of China.
India and China signed a pact in January this year to establish this panel in the wake of Indian media reports about repeated “violations” by Chinese army patrols along the Line of Actual Control. The unmarked border is a legacy of their brief but bitter border war in 1962. Countless rounds of talks have been held at various levels between the two countries but they have not yielded any results. The border has been largely peaceful because of agreements signed in 1993 and 1996.
China claims 90,000 sq. km of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh while India claims that China occupies around 38,000 sq. km in Jammu and Kashmir. India also says that under the China-Pakistan boundary agreement signed in March 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of Indian territory in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) to China.
This week, an official of the Communist Party of China, Li Junru, described the undemarcated border as a “headache” and called for both countries to make compromises to sort out the issue.