17th Round of Talks held between India and China on Boundary Issue
The 17th Round of talks between India and China on the Boundary Issue was held in New Delhi on 11 February 2014.
The 17th Round of talks between India and China on the Boundary Issue was held in New Delhi on 11 February 2014. The Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question was represented by National Security Adviser of India, Shivshankar Menon and State Councillor of China, Mr. Yang Jiechi.
Main Highlights of the 17th Round of Talk
- Both the Special Representatives agreed that a strong and expanding India-China partnership bodes well for peace and stability in the region and the world.
- They stressed the need for continuing the momentum of high-level exchanges and enhancing people-to-people ties.
- They agreed to encourage the holding of regular dialogues between the two Governments on all bilateral issues, including on counter-terrorism, disarmament & international security and maritime affairs on schedule.
- The discussions were also held on a framework for a resolution of the Boundary Issue which is the second part of the 3-step process earlier agreed to by both side. The 3-step process involves agreements on principles, a framework and, finally, a boundary line. The 3-step process will be based on the Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question.
- Both sides also emphasised on continued maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.
- The Special Representatives also elaborated on possible additional confidence building measures, including the early implementation of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2013.
- Both the sides also agreed to have an early meeting in 2014 of the Annual Defence Dialogue.
- The discussions also focused on regional and international issues of mutual interest including cooperation in the East Asia Summit process as well as developments in West Asia and Afghanistan. They agreed to expand India-China consultations on such subjects.
The Boundary Issue between India and China
The boundary issue is too complex to be resolved anytime soon, especially as India and China differ on the most fundamental question: how long is the India-China border, also known as Line of Actual Control (LAC)?
Due to disputes regarding the claim over certain territories, the LAC has long been undecided. India’s position is that the India-China border is 4117 kilometers long, measured from the extreme eastern side (India-China-Burma junction) to the extreme northwestern end of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
The Chinese, however, put the India-China border at just about 2000 kilometers, discounting the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh which they refer to as Southern Tibet and Jammu and Kashmir.
Agreements signed between India and China to resolve the Boundary Issue
1993: On 7 September 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.
1996: On 29 November 1996, Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.
2003: On 23 June 2003, Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China was signed. The Declaration laid down the basis for Special Representative talks on Boundary Issue.
2013: On 23 October 2013, Border Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed.