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China for 'mutually acceptable' solution to border issue
Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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December 03, 2006 20:09 IST

In the backdrop of India's assertion that Arunachal Pradesh is its integral part, China on Sunday said that it favoured a 'fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable' solution to the vexed border issue.

"China's stand is clear consistent on the Sino-Indian border issue. China is for seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the issue, through friendly consultations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told PTI.

She evaded a direct reply when asked to comment on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement to parliament on November 28 when he asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and its status is not debatable.

Mukherjee's statement came after Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi said that entire Arunachal Pradesh was Chinese territory.

Jiang's comment is seen in New Delhi as an attempt by Beijing [Images] to undo the damage done by the controversial statement of the Ambassador on the eve of Hu's visit to India. There have so far been eight meetings of the special representatives of India and China who were appointed in June 2003 to explore the framework for a boundary settlement from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship.

The first five meetings resulted in the signing of the agreement on the political parameters and guiding principles for the settlement of the India-China boundary question on April 11, 2005. During the last three rounds, special representatives have continued their discussions on an agreed framework for a boundary settlement on the basis of the April 11 agreement.

In the joint declaration issued on November 21, 2006 during the visit of the Chinese President Hu Jintao to India, both sides reiterated that an early settlement of the boundary question will advance the basic interest of the two countries and shall, therefore, be pursued as a strategic objective.

The special representatives will seek to complete at an early date the task of finalising an appropriate framework for a final package settlement covering all sectors of the boundary.

Referring to other parts of the Mukherjee's statement on India-China relations, the spokeswoman concurred with New Delhi's assessment that the relation between the two countries had 'grown beyond the limits of bilateral ties and both consider their relationship with the other, as a most important aspect of their bilateral relations.'

Jiang said the government of China strives to develop with India long term and stable relations of strategic cooperative partnership, as it is a decided strategic policy of the Chinese government.

"We hope to work together with Indian side to continuously promote the forward development of bilateral relations," she said.

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