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Sinha hails Sino-Indian accords
June 25, 2003 14:35 IST
The accords that India and China have signed have put the two nations in a win-win situation, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said on Wednesday.
"We have signed a border agreement in which Nathu La has been recognised as a border pass between China and India through which trade will be facilitated," he said in an interview to the BBC's Asia Today programme.
Asked if this meant an admission by China over India's claims on Sikkim, Sinha said, "You can read the language for yourself."
Sinha, who is accompanying Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his six-day visit to China, said China has identified two border passes in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal to facilitate trade with India.
Asked if there is any confusion on the Indian position on Tibet, the minister said, "If you look at the language that India has consistently used over the last 50 years, you will find that we have consistently taken a position.
"The Tibet Autonomous Region was created in 1965 and after that one has been referring to that part as Tibet Autonomous Region."
On whether there is any change in India's stand regarding Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, he replied in the negative.
The minister described as a 'very big development' the decision to upgrade talks on the border issue with the appointment of special political representatives.
"This was an outstanding visit. The Chinese side said the first visit by Prime Minister Vajpayee as foreign minister in 1979 had succeeded in breaking the ice. And this time, they said, it has been the beginning of a new era.
"You could not have asked for better atmospherics. There was no attempt on the part of either country to avoid any issue or evade or sweep an issue under the carpet. Issues were discussed frankly and freely."
More high-level visits between India and China will take place this year, he added.
More reports from China