New Delhi Correspondent
India and China on Saturday resolved to intensify their efforts to achieve “a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution” to their long-festering boundary dispute “at an early date” agreeing that an expeditious settlement of the issue “serves the fundamental interests” of both the countries.
The resolve was reached at a meeting between the Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question Ajit Doval, India’s National Security, Advisor China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi in Chengdu for the 21st round of Special Representatives’ talks.
“The talks were constructive and forward looking and focussed on taking forward the India-China Closer Developmental Partnership in pursuance of the guidance provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their informal summit at Wuhan, China, in April this year,” India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
The Special Representatives undertook a comprehensive review of earlier rounds of talks. “Recalling the strategic guidance and support to their work provided by the leaders at the Wuhan Summit, the Special Representatives resolved to intensify their efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date,” the statement said.
The two sides “underlined the importance of approaching the boundary question from the strategic perspective of India-China relations and agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries,” it said.
They also agreed that pending the final resolution of the boundary question, it was important to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas and to ensure that the boundary question does not affect the overall development of the bilateral relationship, according to the statement.
“In this context, they noted the mature handling of issues relating to the India-China border areas since the Wuhan Summit,” it added.
India and China were locked in a 73-day military standoff at Doklam, a Himalayan plateau on the trijunction of the border with Bhutan last year when Indian troops had rushed in to stop Chinese army to stop the construction of a road that could lead to a narrow piece of land connecting West Bengal and Assam states of India. The face-off ended in August after hectic diplomatic efforts by both sides.
Acknowledging the importance of predictability in border management, and in that context, underscoring the importance of maintaining strategic communication at all levels, the Special Representatives of India and China held discussions on various confidence-building measures to promote exchanges and communication between their border personnel. They directed the bilateral Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination for Border Affairs to work out further details in this regard, said the statement.
The two Special Representatives underlined the importance of sustained and effective implementation of the directions given by their leaders with a view to further strengthening the closer developmental partnership between India and China with due respect for each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations.
“They shared the view that stable and balanced development of India-China relations is a positive factor for peace and prosperity in the region and the whole world,” said the statement.