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We must make mutual compromises on Arunachal: China to India
Ajay Kaul in New Delhi
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China downplays ambassador's remarks on Arunachal Pradesh

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November 15, 2006 15:10 IST
Last Updated: November 15, 2006 15:50 IST

As India prepares to receive President Hu Jintao next week, China on Wednesday said the two countries must make "mutual compromises" on the "disputed" issue of Arunachal Pradesh and that it was ready to do so.

The two countries, through "friendly consultations", can arrive at a "mutually-acceptable and mutually-satisfactory" solution to the issue "left over from history," Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi told PTI in an interview in New Delhi.

Insisting that Arunachal is a "disputed area", Yuxi said there needs to be discussions on it.

"We must make mutual compromises (on Arunachal). We are ready to make compromises on that," he said, just five days ahead of Hu's maiden four-day visit.

Beijing [Images] claims that entire Arunachal Pradesh is "Chinese territory".

When referred to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's remark on Tuesday that Arunachal is an integral part of India, the Chinese envoy said, "If you want to know that (about dispute), you can compare maps of the two countries. There are differences. So that is why we call it disputed area and (that) needs some discussions."

He said there should be "some give and take" on the issue and that it was for negotiators of the two countries to ascertain where to make compromises.

The Chinese envoy said the two countries had agreed not to allow their boundary dispute to affect the development of relations in other areas.

During Hu's visit, China will reaffirm its commitment to that understanding, Yuxi said.

The boundary question has been discussed since 2003 by special representatives of the two countries who have held eight rounds of talks so far.

While the Indian side is represented by National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, China is represented by Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.

"The special representatives are now working out the framework (of an agreement on the boundary issue)," Yuxi said, expressing satisfaction at the progress made by them.

The two sides had signed the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles Agreement during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit in New Delhi in May 2005, under which they agreed to settle their pending disputes through talks.

Yuxi said despite the pending boundary dispute, overall relations between the world's two biggest developing countries have been witnessing rapid growth.

During the president's visit, Yuxi said, the two countries will set up a mechanism for frequent high-level exchanges.

They will also sign at least 12 pacts including a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement and one on establishing a regional free trade arrangement.

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