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Sikkim will cease to be a contentious
issue in Sino-Indian relations: PM
M K Razdan and Anil K Joseph in Shanghai | June 27, 2003 12:24 IST
Indicating that China would gradually recognise Sikkim as a part of India, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday said the 'process' by which the northeastern state 'will cease to be a (contentious) issue' has started.
Addressing a press conference in Shanghai at the end of his six-day official visit to China, Vajpayee disagreed with the suggestion that India had got nothing from the Chinese leadership on the question of Sikkim, which Beijing has refused to recognise as Indian territory for the last 28 years.
With the signing of the protocol for trade through this state, 'we have started the process by which Sikkim will cease to be a (contentious) issue in India-Chinese relations', he said.
"Whatever had been decided on Sikkim will take us in the right direction and our objective will be fulfilled," the prime minister said while describing his talks with the Chinese leadership as 'cordial and fruitful'."It is a long journey but we have made a good beginning," he said.
More reports from China