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India, China to hold border talks by end of next month

Tense ties: A Chinese soldier and an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing.  

India and China will hold the 20th round of border talks by December end, the first since the 73-day stand-off at Doklam.

“Starting next month, the bilateral exchanges will begin. The first one is of our foreign minister Wang Yi. He will attend the India-China-Russia foreign ministers meeting here. Then our State Counsellor, Yang Jiechi, will come to attend the 20th round of border talks. So these two very important visits by the two leaders will start a new chapter in our bilateral relations,” Minister Counsellor in the Chinese Embassy Li Bijian said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Observer Research Foundation on Thursday.

Mr. Yang has been made a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and will become a Chinese Vice-Premier in charge of foreign policy next year.

Modi, Xi meeting

Mr. Li said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen after the Doklam incident in September, they reached a consensus to take forward bilateral relations and these visits were part of the initiative.

The last round of boundary talks between the two Special Representatives, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Mr. Yang, were held in China in April last year.

The stand-off

The two armies got into the stand-off at Doklam on June 16 after Indian soldiers prevented the Chinese from building a road in the disputed territory near the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction, and after tough diplomatic negotiations, announced disengagement on August 28. In this backdrop, there are widespread apprehensions on the future course of the border talks.

Speaking on the just concluded 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress, Mr. Li said it was an opportunity for India. “In the next 30 years, the main task of the Chinese government is development. In the last five years of Mr. Xi’s rule, 60 million people have been brought out of poverty. But we still have 40 million below poverty. India also has a similar task. We can share our experiences in development.” A strong and developing China gave opportunities in trade, investment and consumption, he said.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 2:08:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-china-border-talks-next-month/article20054835.ece

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