China, India end border talks with no sign of progress

Other News Materials 19 September 2008 17:07 (UTC +04:00)

China and India on Friday ended their latest two-day round of talks on border disputes with an agreement to continue dialogue but no sign of progress, reported dpa.

"Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Adviser MK Narayanan headed their delegations for the talks, which were pragmatic, candid and friendly," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement released through the government-run Xinhua news agency.

The talks were the 12th round since China and India appointed special representatives in 2003 to explore solutions to their long-standing border disputes.

The ministry statement said the two sides "exchanged in-depth views on a framework to solve the issue," the agency said.

"They agreed that both countries would carry out the guidelines of their leaders, maintain negotiations and seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides," it said.

But the brief statement gave no indication of whether the two sides had narrowed their differences.

They agreed to hold the next round of talks in India, it said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also discussed the border issue earlier this month in New Delhi, where he held talks with his counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India and China established a joint working group in 1988 to find a solution to the border disagreement. They still dispute large areas along their 4,000-kilometre border after a brief border war fought in the Himalayas in 1962.

China occupies part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region with India accusing Pakistan of illegally ceding it to Beijing.

India alleges that China illegally occupies 43,000 square kilometres of land in Kashmir while China has laid claim to large parts of India's north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and earlier claimed Sikkim.

But booming two-way trade and increased dialogue between the countries has significantly improved bilateral relations in the past few years.

During former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to China in June 2003, India said it recognized the Tibet region as an autonomous part of China and Beijing recognized Sikkim as part of India.