India, China Hold Border Talks

India, China Hold Border Talks

10 February 2014
PTI


New Delhi: India and China today held a meeting between their Special Representatives on the contentious boundary issue that was preceded by talks under the working mechanism on border affairs in which additional confidence building measures and steps for maintaining peace and tranquility were discussed. “The talks, which were held in a candid, constructive and forward looking atmosphere, reviewed recent developments in the India-China border areas especially in the Western Sector,” the Ministry of External Affairs said after the fifth meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs. It said implementation of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), additional confidence building measures and further steps for maintaining peace and tranquility figured in the meeting. Indian delegation at the meeting of 17th round of Special Representatives was led by National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon while the Chinese side was headed by State Councilor Yang Jiechi from China. The Special Representatives’ talks will continue tomorrow as well. Today’s Special Representatives meeting was the first meeting since the two countries inked the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) during Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s trip to Beijing last year. Apart from deliberations on the India–China boundary, the two sides are understood to have discussed a range of issues including bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest. The BDCA aims at enhancing communication between the two security forces as part of the confidence building measures being adopted to maintain status quo and stability along the nearly 4,057-km Line of Actual Control the two countries share. The Indian delegation at the meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs was led by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) and comprised representatives of the Ministries of External Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs as well as Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The Chinese delegation was led by Ouyang Yujing, Director General of Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and consisted of representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence. The 16th round of Special Representatives talks was held last year in China during which the two sides discussed “maintenance of peace and tranquility on the India-China border areas including possible additional confidence building measures, ways and means of strengthening existing mechanisms for consultation and coordination on border affairs and methodology to enhance the efficiency of communications between the two sides”. The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs was formed to address problems between the troops of the two countries at the borders. It was was formed during the 15th round of border talks in New Delhi in January 2012.