Mon, Mar 23, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Chinese envoy in India for Himalayan border row talks

NO SIMPLE SOLUTION:The conflict dates back to British colonial decisions on Tibet, and the dispute over the area led to a brief war in 1962

Reuters, NEW DELHI

A Chinese envoy was due to hold talks in India from yesterday aimed at fixing a dispute about the Himalayan border that divides Asia’s largest nations — part of a push to make progress on the festering row before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits China.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) is visiting India from yesterday through tomorrow for the 18th round of boundary talks, India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The talks are the first since Modi took office. The nationalist prime minister is keen to resolve the dispute that has clouded rapidly expanding commercial links, and any progress would shed a positive light on his expected visit to Beijing in May.

However, there is no simple solution to a conflict that largely dates back to British colonial decisions about Tibet.

The disagreement over the 3,500km border led to a brief war in 1962 and involves large swathes of remote territory.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 square kilometers disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.

India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

In September last year, the two armies were locked in a face-off in the Ladakh sector in the western Himalayas, just as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was visiting India for the first summit talks with Modi.

Yang’s visit to India is at the invitation of Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Modi’s close aide, who is known to take a hard line on security issues.

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