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China asks India not to bring differences to the fore

May 29, 2007 13:40 IST

Against the backdrop of denial of visa to an IAS officer from Arunachal Pradesh, China said on Tuesday that bilateral differences should not be brought to the fore till a fair and reasonable settlement of the vexed boundary issue is reached.

"We hold that the boundary issue between China and India should be settled fairly and reasonably at an early date through friendly consultations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu said.

Before the boundary settlement, the differences should not be brought into the front, affecting exchanges between the two nations, Jiang told PTI, when asked to comment on Beijing's refusal to grant visa to an Indian IAS official from Arunachal Pradesh.

"China welcomes the friendly exchanges between the two nations," Jiang said, without confirming the denial of Chinese visa to Gonesh Koyu, an IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh cadre who was a part of a 107-strong delegation of
IAS officers who planned to travel to China.

"We welcome the Indian personnel to come and visit China and participate in the training programme," she said, apparently referring to New Delhi's decision to cancel the visit of 107 IAS officers for mid-career training in China.

She did not indicate the reason why the Chinese visa was denied to Koyu or whether China is willing to reconsider its decision to deny visa to the Indian official from Arunachal Pradesh cadre. 

The 107 IAS officers were set to leave on a two-week trip to China as part of the training of officials of the level of joint secretary. They were set to leave on May 26 and were supposed to spend a week at the prestigious Beijing National Academy of Administration and a week in the Communist giant's sleek commercial hub, Shanghai.

Beijing has always claimed that Arunachal Pradesh as 'Chinese territory'.

Just ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India in November last year, Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Yuxi had triggered a diplomatic row contending Arunachal Pradesh as 'Chinese territory', a claim strongly rejected by India.

So far, the Special Representatives of India and China have held ten rounds of negotiations and have worked out the political guiding principles to resolve the border issue. 

Both sides have kept mum on the outcome of these in-camera negotiations, which have so far come out with the 'guiding principles' to settle the boundary issue that has hampered the normalisation of India-China relations.

The guiding principles commit both India and China sides to arriving at a 'package settlement' of the boundary question in a spirit of mutual respect and mutual understanding.

India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sqkm of Jammu and Kashmir including 5,180 sq km illegally ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963.

On the other hand, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.

Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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