India, China discuss steps for border peace

Ahead of NSA Shivshankar Menon’s visit to Beijing, India and China Friday ended a second meeting of a working group and discussed steps to maintain peace along their disputed border.

At the second meeting of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs held here, the two sides also exchanged ideas on ways to maintain border peace and tranquillity.

The Indian side was led by Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary in the foreign ministry, and officials from the defence and home ministries. The army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were also represented.

The Chinese delegation was led by Wang Xiaodu, special representative in the department of boundary and oceanic affairs in the foreign ministry.

The two countries reviewed developments on the India-China border since the 1st meeting of the working group, an Indian official said.

They acknowledged with satisfaction that peace was maintained on both sides, said the Indian external affairs ministry.

The two delegations also exchanged ideas on steps to build greater trust and confidence.

Both welcomed the liberalisation of border trade across Nathu La, which has pushed up the volume of trade.

They also discussed introducing additional routes for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra.

India and China are expected to try to bridge differences on a proposed framework to resolve the boundary dispute when National Security Adviser Menon meets Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo for consultations in the Chinese capital Dec 3 and 4.

India and China have held 15 rounds of boundary talks. But tensions persist.

China has shown Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of its territory in maps on new e-passports.

India countered it by issuing visa to Chinese nationals containing Indian maps including these regions.