National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to take part in the 19th round of Sino-India border talks on Wednesday with the issue of China blocking India’s bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN casting a shadow on the deliberations.
Doval, the designated Special Representative, along with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi will hold the boundary talks which have become an annual feature between the two countries.
While China says the boundary dispute is confined 2,000 km, mainly Arunachal Pradesh in eastern sector which it claims as part of southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered the whole of 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) including the Aksai Chin area occupied by China during the 1962 war.
When the Special Representatives were appointed in 2003, the two sides set off a three stage process.
The two countries first reached an agreement on the guiding principles and setting political parameters for the settlement in 2005.
Officials say the two sides are currently in the second stage which focusses on working out a framework of settlement to be followed by the final step of drawing the boundary line based on the framework agreement.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, while talking about the boundary talks, said, “We have been working to resolve territorial disputes through negotiations and consultation and we have completely settled territorial disputes with 12 of the 14 land neighbours.”
Only the border dispute with India and Bhutan needed to resolved, she said.
“Both history and practice have proven that it is possible to resolve territorial disputes through negotiation and consolation,” Hua said.
In talks the two sides will continue to work to strive to reach a settlement acceptable to both sides, she said.
While working for a solution “we would like to work together with the Indian side to maintain stability in the border areas and create favourable condition for the boundary question,” Hua said.
On India’s stand of delineation of the 3,488 km-long LAC to bring about a clarity in order to avert standoffs at the disputed boundary, she said the issue could be further discussed at the boundary talks tomorrow.
Last month, China had vetoed India’s bid to get Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN Sanctions Committee, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. The Chinese action evoked a strong reaction in India which said that it was “incomprehensible” that while JeM was banned by the UN, its chief was not.
The Azhar issue was expected to figure prominently in the talks on Wednesday.