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Why India, China border talks got postponed

November 26, 2011 20:20 IST

The reported Chinese demand for cancellation of the Dalai Lama's speech at a Buddhist congregation in New Delhi next week is believed to have led to the postponement of India-China border talks scheduled for Monday.

The Chinese side is said to have called off the 15th round of the talks between Special Representatives (SR) of both the sides after India refused to accept their demand that the congregation which was to be addressed by the Tibetan spiritual leader be called off.

The Dalai Lama was to address the valedictory function of the four-day Global Buddhist Congregation, co-organised by the Public Diplomacy division of the External Affairs Ministry, on Wednesday.

The Indian side is believed to have conveyed to China that the Congregation was of a religious nature and not a political event and it cannot cancel it.

There was no official word on the reasons for the cancellation of the SR talks from both sides.

The Chinese embassy here also declined to comment.

Chinese Special Representative Dai Bingguo was to travel to Delhi for talks with his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon to follow up on their talks in the 14th round in Beijing in November last year.

The External Affairs Ministry issued a terse statement "we are looking forward to the 15th round of SRs talks in the near future and the two sides remain in touch to find convenient dates for the meeting."

Dai and Menon were expected to discuss putting in place a mechanism for border management mooted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to India last year.

A decision to set up the mechanism was taken at a meeting Wen had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sanya in April.

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