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India, China likely to sign pact

By Spl correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Jan 16 � In a significant move to maintain tranquillity along the international border, India and China are likely to sign an agreement on setting up a joint mechanism on border management.

On the concluding day of the two-day 15th round of boundary talks between India and China on Tuesday, the two countries are expected to finalise a framework for delineating the border on the map.

The resumption of dialogue on Monday comes in the backdrop of growing uncertainties after the last round of talks were postponed following a few incidents of diplomatic rows. The Indian side is being led by National Security Adviser Shivshanker Menon, while the Chinese team is headed at the talks by State Councillor Dai Bingguo.

Sources said the focus of the talks between the two Special Representatives (SRs) would be on confidence-building measures. The two sides are working on finalising a draft on maintaining tranquillity on the border, said sources.

Though officials were tight-lipped, indications were that the two SRs are expected to work out the details of a pact on the border mechanism likely to be signed on Tuesday. The border mechanism, which is an important confidence-building measure, would facilitate real-time contact in case of violations of the Line of Actual Control. It is expected to be headed by the Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Chinese director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs.

Besides the boundary issue, the two sides will also hold discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues that include the global financial crisis, climate change and the BRICS summit of India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa which New Delhi would host in March. They are also expected to discuss the likely visit to India of Chinese President Hu Jintao�s successor Xi Jinping.

A few incidents over issue of visas and Dalai Lama�s participation in a global Buddhist summit had threatened to sour relations between Beijing and New Delhi. The two SRs were earlier scheduled to meet on November 28 to 29. However, taking objections to Dalai Lama�s participation in the Global Buddhist Congregation here around the same time as the talks. Beijing called off the talks.

Incidents of border incursions in Arunachal Pradesh, where Chinese troops tried to breach a wall on the border, denial of visa to an Indian Air Force Officer of Arunachal Pradesh vitiated the atmosphere.

Recently, the NSA had termed the boundary question as a �difficult issue� that has remained unsolved. �On the settlement itself, we are in the second stage of the three-stage process of agreeing in principle, a framework and finally a boundary line,� he had said.

The dialogue at the level of SRs is a three-stage process, which started in 2005 with the declaration of the Guiding Principles and Political Parameters.

The second stage is identifying the framework for resolution of the boundary dispute and the third stage is application of that framework. The second and the third stages are the �hardest� part of the negotiations and efforts are under way to conclude these,� official admit.

The 14th round of talks had taken place in Beijing in November, 2010. The SR mechanism was established in 2003, when Menon was India�s ambassador to Beijing.

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India, China likely to sign pact

NEW DELHI, Jan 16 � In a significant move to maintain tranquillity along the international border, India and China are likely to sign an agreement on setting up a joint mechanism on border management.

On the concluding day of the two-day 15th round of boundary talks between India and China on Tuesday, the two countries are expected to finalise a framework for delineating the border on the map.

The resumption of dialogue on Monday comes in the backdrop of growing uncertainties after the last round of talks were postponed following a few incidents of diplomatic rows. The Indian side is being led by National Security Adviser Shivshanker Menon, while the Chinese team is headed at the talks by State Councillor Dai Bingguo.

Sources said the focus of the talks between the two Special Representatives (SRs) would be on confidence-building measures. The two sides are working on finalising a draft on maintaining tranquillity on the border, said sources.

Though officials were tight-lipped, indications were that the two SRs are expected to work out the details of a pact on the border mechanism likely to be signed on Tuesday. The border mechanism, which is an important confidence-building measure, would facilitate real-time contact in case of violations of the Line of Actual Control. It is expected to be headed by the Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Chinese director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs.

Besides the boundary issue, the two sides will also hold discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues that include the global financial crisis, climate change and the BRICS summit of India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa which New Delhi would host in March. They are also expected to discuss the likely visit to India of Chinese President Hu Jintao�s successor Xi Jinping.

A few incidents over issue of visas and Dalai Lama�s participation in a global Buddhist summit had threatened to sour relations between Beijing and New Delhi. The two SRs were earlier scheduled to meet on November 28 to 29. However, taking objections to Dalai Lama�s participation in the Global Buddhist Congregation here around the same time as the talks. Beijing called off the talks.

Incidents of border incursions in Arunachal Pradesh, where Chinese troops tried to breach a wall on the border, denial of visa to an Indian Air Force Officer of Arunachal Pradesh vitiated the atmosphere.

Recently, the NSA had termed the boundary question as a �difficult issue� that has remained unsolved. �On the settlement itself, we are in the second stage of the three-stage process of agreeing in principle, a framework and finally a boundary line,� he had said.

The dialogue at the level of SRs is a three-stage process, which started in 2005 with the declaration of the Guiding Principles and Political Parameters.

The second stage is identifying the framework for resolution of the boundary dispute and the third stage is application of that framework. The second and the third stages are the �hardest� part of the negotiations and efforts are under way to conclude these,� official admit.

The 14th round of talks had taken place in Beijing in November, 2010. The SR mechanism was established in 2003, when Menon was India�s ambassador to Beijing.

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