India, China agree to cooperate in civil nuke energy, discuss boundary question

September 25th, 2008 - 1:28 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New York, Sept 24 (ANI): India and China on Wednesday announced that they have agreed to cooperate in the civilian uses of nuclear energy and accepted that talks relating to the vexed boundary question needed to be taken forward by the Special Representatives of the two countries.

Talking to reporters after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao here this morning on the sidelines of the 63rd UN General Assembly, Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said: “The meeting between our Prime Minister and Premier Wen Jiabao was positive and cordial. The two prime ministers agreed on expanding bilateral cooperation in civilian uses of nuclear energy, an issue which has figured during high-level exchanges between the two Asian giants.”

The meeting, which was held at the Waldorf Hotel, lasted for an hour. The results emerging from the deliberations assume significance in the wake of recent tensions in bilateral ties following China’’s reported attempts to block a consensus on the India-specific waiver regarding its civil nuclear cooperation pact with the United States at the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Vienna earlier this month.

It maybe recalled that during his recent visit to New Delhi, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi reassured the Indian leadership that Beijing’’s role in Vienna was not aimed at blocking India-specific safeguards, but to ensure an informed and consensual approach to the US-India civil nuclear deal.

Foreign Secretary Menon also said that both leaders voiced satisfaction over the progress in resolving the vexed boundary dispute that has plagued bilateral ties for close to five decades.

On the boundary question, Menon said: It was agreed that both countries (India and China) have cooperated in the past and will cooperate in the future. We also spoke and expressed satisfaction over the boundary question and recognize that it is a complicated issue. It was agreed that the Special Representatives of the two sides (Dai Bingguo and M.K.Narayanan) will continue their talks.”

Earlier this month, India and China failed to reach any specific agreements on the boundary issue in the 12th round of negotiations, but decided to pursue their goal for a “fair and reasonable” solution.

“Chinese State Councillor and Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan headed their delegations for the talks, which were pragmatic, candid and friendly,” a bland statement issued in Beijing by the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said then.

The two sides had two days of in-camera talks.

“They (Bingguo and Narayanan) 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,” the statement said.

According to the official mouth piece Xinhua, it was not clear if the two sides had discussed the status of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, which has long been a serious bone of contention.

During a meeting with Narayanan, Bingguo indicated that the two countries should maintain peace along the disputed border till a solution was found to the issue.
India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] including 5,180 sq km illegally ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963. On the other hand, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh. (ANI)

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