Border talks: India, China agree on steps for border peace

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New Delhi: India and China have agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas which was a “pre-requisite” for continued growth of bilateral relations as also to enhance cooperation in key areas, including counter -terrorism, maritime security and civil nuclear energy sector.

In a first such engagement since Narendra Modi-led government came to power, the Special Representatives (SRs) of India and China held 18th round of talks on boundary issue and agreed to further expand contacts between the forces of the two countries as these constitute important confidence building measures for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

“The talks were marked by cordiality and candour and were held in a constructive and forward looking atmosphere,” External Affairs Ministry said today at the end of talks, which were co-chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

Comprehensively reviewing and expressing satisfaction over the talks held so far in previous rounds, the SRs discussed issues to “reach a mutually acceptable Framework for resolution of the Boundary Question on the basis of the Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles”, a statement from the MEA said.

During the talks, they emphasised commitment to the three-step process to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution of the vexed issue at an early date and “agreed to take necessary steps to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas which is a pre-requisite for continued growth of bilateral relations”.

Expressing satisfaction at the growing interaction between the border forces of the two countries, the two sides agreed to “further expand such contacts as these constitute important confidence building measures for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” it said.

The statement further added that the two sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed to enhance their consultations on counter-terrorism, maritime security, climate change, reform of United Nation and civil nuclear energy cooperation.

The two sides also viewed development of bilateral ties following the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping here in September last, terming it as a “significant event” in India-China relations, the MEA statement said.

They agreed to build on the momentum provided by Xi’s visit to further expand bilateral relations in areas such as railways, smart cities, vocational education, skill development, clean and renewable energy and manufacturing sector, it said.

Both sides agreed that growing linkages between Indian states and Chinese provinces through sister-city and sister-province mechanism plays an important role in deepening bilateral ties. The two Special Representatives emphasised the importance of high-level exchanges for strengthening bilateral ties.

Yang, before returning, called on the Prime Minister Modi and conveyed greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

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