2 minute readIndia, China to launch new border mechanism soon

New Delhi: Amid reports of sporadic incursions by Chinese troops into Indian territory, India and China are set to launch a new joint boundary mechanism later this year to maintain peace along their nearly 3,500-km border.

The border mechanism will be an important confidence building measure and will ensure that the India-China border will remain the most peaceful and tranquil in the world, said informed sources here Wednesday.

The proposed mechanism would comprise diplomats from the external affairs ministry and military personnel, including representatives of paramilitary and intelligence agencies.

The two sides now working out details of the proposed mechanism to prevent incidents along the border, said sources.

“With the new mechanism, we will have a direct communication link between New Delhi and Beijing,” said a source.

The border mechanism was discussed between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Sanya in April.

There are already many mechanisms to deal with any incidents on the border, including flag meetings between military personnel, expert level groups and diplomatic channels. But the two sides have long felt the need for a joint mechanism that involves closer coordination between the foreign office of the two countries.

Last week, Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony had said that the government has decided to set up a border mechanism with China by involving all stakeholders, such as the armed forces, paramilitary forces and the external affairs ministry.

The decision was taken in view of adverse media reportage to incursions by Chinese troops into Indian territory that Indian officials have clarified many a time occur due to differences in perception about the un-demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India and China recently held a strategic economic dialogue that underscored their resolve to strengthen bilateral relations despite a decades-old border dispute.

The special representatives, India’s National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo, will hold the 15th round of boundary talks October-end or early November here.

“We have achieved good progress during the 14 round of talks held so far … the 15th round will be held soon,” said a source.

Admitting there were divergences on some issues, the sources said that India regarded building better relations with China a key priority and rejected scenarios of confrontation and rivalry. Bilateral trade is already touching $60 billion, with both sides confident to scaling it up to $100 billion.

Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, will be visiting New Delhi and Mumbai Nov 3-6. He will be accompanied by a high-level business delegation to explore the possibilities of expanding trade and investment between the two countries.

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