Indian foreign minister discusses border, strategic ties in China

June 5th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
Beijing, June 5 (DPA) India’s Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee Thursday met his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechui, for talks on the two nations’ long-standing border disputes and their development of a “strategic partnership”. “The two countries will exchange views on a series of issues in bilateral relations, including the boundary issue,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said before the talks.

Yang and Mukherjee would also push forward a strategic partnership signed in January by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, Qin said.

China and India have held talks over about 20 years to resolve disputes over their 4,000-km Himalayan border.

Envoys from the two sides have held 11 rounds of talks and have started negotiations on a framework to resolve the border issues.

“In recent years, the China-India boundary talks have made positive and important progress, and the two countries have reached consensus on the political principles to resolve the boundary issue,” Qin said.

He said China wanted to “find a plan that is fair, rational and acceptable to both sides at an early date”.

“Before the settlement of the issue, we should maintain stability and tranquility in the border region and not let the issue disturb the current sound development of China-India relations,” Qin said.

Mukherjee also planned to travel to the southern city of Guangzhou for the opening of an Indian consulate, he said.

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