NSA Menon downplays map row ahead of China visit


New Delhi : Ahead of his visit to Beijing next month, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon Monday downplayed the recent map row with China, saying that the issue will have to be seen in the context of the boundary negotiations and stressing that the two countries have made some progress in this area.

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“I think you need to see these things in some perspective. We do have differences on where the boundary lies. We are discussing them. We have made progress in dealing with that,” Menon said to queries about the recent controversy over China issuing e-passports which show Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of China.

Menon underlined that the Chinese documents show their version of the boundary, while Indian documents show “our version of the boundary”, indicating that the issue was a reflection of the unresolved boundary dispute with China.

“What has changed? Chinese have a view on where the boundary lies, which is why we are having discussions on the boundary because we have differences on where the boundary is,” he said.

“The Chinese chose to put a watermark on their passports which shows the boundaries as they see it. We show our boundary as we see it on visas that we issue. So, what has changed.”

“On our documents, we continue to show what we regard as our boundary, they show their claims on their documents,” he added.

Menon was speaking after releasing six books on China, which are based on a series of seminars organised by the Observer Research Foundation. The series explore various facets of China’s foreign policy, economy and socio-political realities and their implications for India.

India and China have agreed on a three-stage process to resolve their decades-long boundary dispute.

“We are in the process of agreeing on a framework to settle the boundary and the next step, hopefully the third stage, is to actually agree on a boundary. Right now we are at the second stage,” Menon said.