The 16th round of India-China border talks commenced in Beijing on Friday seeking to resolve vexing boundary disputes, some of which date back prior to the establishment of either an independent India or the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
During his ongoing two-day visit to Beijing, the Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon met on Friday with Yang Jiechi, the newly appointed Chinese special representative, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. This is the first meeting of the border talks after the new leadership took over in China in March.
In the meeting, China said that it was ready to “break new ground” with India to resolve the boundary dispute and to make greater progress in the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two neighbors in the new period.
“The China-India relationship has developed good momentum of development. The Special Representatives meeting is an important exchange and cooperation mechanism between our two countries,” Yang said in a report from the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Welcoming the Indian special representative, Premier Li said that he opted to make India as his first destination after he became the premier and that his visit had “enhanced mutual trust and pushed forward practical cooperation” between the two countries.
Responding to Li, Menon said that he is looking forward in the course of his two-day visit to build on newer possibilities and to realize the potential of the Indo-China relationship.
Menon said the Indo-China partnership is moving in the right direction. “It is our conviction that we are at a moment of strategic opportunity for this relationship,” Menon said.
Recently, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) platoon intruded 19 km (11.8 miles) inside the Line of Actual control in the region of Ladakh and established a camp on Indian-controlled territory, just a couple of days prior to Li’s India visit.
The talks of the Indian special representative with Chinese leaders are expected to focus on the recent intrusion by Chinese forces in the Ladakh region in a bid to improve bilateral ties.
India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony is scheduled to visit China in the first week of July to hold discussions on the ways to avoid any such future conflicts between the two armies.