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India, China to hold 15th round of boundary talks


New Delhi : India and China will focus on firming up a framework for resolving their decades-old boundary dispute during the 15th round of boundary talks between their special representatives later this year. The talks are expected to be held either October-end or early November.

State Councillor Dai Bingguo, China’s special representatives for boundary talks, will arrive here for talks with his Indian counterpart, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

The two sides have stepped up efforts to finalise a framework that will determine how to draw the line and demarcate the border.

India and China made an important strategic move by finalising guiding principles and political parameters to resolve the boundary dispute from the higher perspective of their relationship during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to New Delhi in 2005.

This was part of the three-stage process both sides have agreed to with the objective of finally demarcating the border. The second part – the finalisation of the framework – is, however, proving to be the most difficult part of negotiations.

The boundary talks have not made much progress despite 14 rounds between special representatives.

In a move designed to re-assert its territorial claims over India’s northeastern state, China over a month ago issued stapled visas, which are not accepted by India, to a team of sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh.

The issue of stapled visas is expected to figure in the talks as they are implicitly about territorial claims.

Besides the visa issue, the special representatives are also expected to discuss a gamut of strategic and regional issues, including the proposed India-US-Japan forum which Beijing sees as a move to contain its rise in Asia.