India and China have agreed to hold another round of border talks following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi-Jinping on the sideline of the BRICS Summit in Brazil. According to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, Prime Minister Modi and President Xi "noted that the Special Representatives will have another meeting on matters relating to the boundary question and reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and security along the border areas".
The External Affairs Ministry, however, didn't mention any specific time frame for the 22nd round of boundary talks with China. The 21st round of India-China border talks on matters relating to the boundary between the two countries, led by Special Representatives (SR) National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, were held at Chengdu in China in November last year. After the talks, both sides had vowed to "intensify" and "advance" the dialogue for an early settlement of the boundary dispute.
The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. This year’s talks were expected to be held in September in India ahead of Xi’s visit to Chennai last month for the second informal summit with Modi at Mamallapuram. But it did not take place due to "scheduling issues", according to officials on both sides.
The talks are now expected to take place following Wednesday’s meeting between Modi and Xi at Brasilia. After his summit meeting with Modi at Mamallapuram, Xi said, "We will seek a fair and reasonable solution to the border issue that is acceptable to both sides in accordance with the agreement on political guiding principles".
"We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests. We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being," he said in a statement after the talks in Chennai.
(With inputs from PTI)