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Sino-India ties shouldn't be hit by 'noise': China

Last updated on: December 03, 2012 18:36 IST

Making a strong pitch for deepening ties with India after the leadership changes in Beijing, China on Monday said that Sino-Indian ties should not be affected by 'noise'

by 'some parties' intended to undermine bilateral ties which had improved despite the lingering border dispute.

Peace at the borders has not come easy and it took strong efforts on the part of the two countries to establish, maintain peaceful borders even while continuing to resolve the boundary issue, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo told National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon in Beijing.

Dai said the bilateral ties should not be affected by 'noise', and advocated further cooperation for common development.

"The two countries should have a clear idea about some parties' intentions of undermining bilateral ties. They should also remember that there is more consensus than differences, and more cooperation than competition, between China and India," he told Menon.

While it was not clear who exactly Dai was referring to as 'some parties', the Chinese strategic analysts often point to the United States and Japan's efforts to improve ties with India as part of larger strategy to contain Beijing.

Earlier, a Chinese official had expressed strong reservations about reports in the Indian media pointing that border talks have not made any headway. Qin Gang, director-general of the foreign minister's media wing who took the lead in briefing the Indian media about

Dai-Menon talks, refuted the Indian media reports that border talks failed to make any progress ahead of Menon's visit to Beijing.

"This meeting is not like any occasion where both sides expressed their differences on boundary issues. This is not the time and occasion for both sides to express differences on boundary issues," he said.

"This is the time and occasion to express good wishes and good views," he said referring to reports in Indian media that this meeting can not hope for any agreement on boundary issue because both sides are far from each other's position.

"That is not true. Menon's visit is not about boundary issue but the whole relationship," Qin said. The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that Dai spoke highly of the two countries' 'creative' practices in coping with disparities and contradictions, saying China and India do not allow problems to influence bilateral ties.

The experience of handling and controlling disparities between China and India has made an important contribution to enriching the theories and practices of international relations, Dai said.

In the process of developing the ties, China and India are committed to pushing forward a solution to existing problems, he said. Dai noted that 15 rounds of talks had been held between Special Representatives on China-India border issues, and the two sides had accumulated consensus in the framework for solving the issues.

China and India experienced a border conflict in 1962. The two countries launched the mechanism of meetings between Special Representatives on border issues in 2003.

China and India, Dai added, are committed to protecting peace and stability in border areas and promoting military mutual trust.

"China and India's independence and peaceful development, as well as making their two-fifths of the world's population live in abundance, will be huge contributions to world peace and development," Dai said.

Menon and Dai, the two officials, designated as special representatives to resolve the boundary differences, held three rounds of talks on Monday.

Earlier, welcoming Menon Dai told him that he is among the first foreign dignitaries to visit Beijing after Communist Party leadership change last month, which signifies the importance China attaches to its relationship with India.

"You're one of the first few foreign leaders we are receiving after the party Congress," Dai told Menon welcoming him for the talks at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

"There is a very special and important background to your visit this time, that is the Communist Party of China has just successfully concluded its 18th party congress," he said.

On his part, Menon said his visit is taking place in the midst of significant developments.

"We are meeting at a time of significant developments, in China, the party Congress, in the world as well. It is also a time when India-China relations are proceeding smoothly and developing well," he said.

"So I am looking forward very much to discussing these issues, continuing our talks. You yourself have made major contributions to India-China relations.

"I am confident that our talks will help us further develop this relationship which for us in India is one of our most important relationships," he said.

The development of India-China relations are important not just to them but to also the region and the rest of the world and it is of growing significance, he said. Menon's visit was ostensibly to take part in informal talks with Dai. The main purpose of his visit is also aimed at establishing formal contacts with the new Chinese leadership headed by Xi Jinping who succeeded Hu Jintao as general secretary at the party Congress last month.

He is expected to meet Li Keqiang, the number two leader in the seven-member all powerful Standing Committee headed by Xi. Li is slated to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao when the latter retires in March next year.

Chinese officials maintain that Menon would be meeting one of the top leaders. Though both Xi, who was the vice president under Hu, and Vice Premier Li have not visited India

in recent times, the two were stated to be part of policy of friendship pursued by previous leadership.

They have been interacting with Indian officials at various levels, officials said. Apprising Menon of Party's resolve to improve relations with neighbours, Dai stated that China want to deepen relations with India under the new leadership.

This will be Dai's last meeting of the boundary talks, which was categorised as 'informal' in nature as he is set to retire after a decade long stint as state councillor, a top political post higher than the foreign minister.

Regarded as the architect of China's policy to improve ties with India rebalancing its once deeply entrenched strategic relations with Pakistan, Dai was associated with most of initiatives since 2003 that were worked out under President Hu's 10-year stint in power including the special representative mechanism to address the border issue.

Dai is set to retire in March when Hu formally steps down as president. Hu already stepped down as general secretary of the party and military chief paving the way for vice president Xi to succeed all three posts.

Significantly, Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, 59, an ethnic Mongol, one of the few lady members of the newly selected Central Committee, took part in the meeting with Menon, sparking speculation that she may succeed Dai as state councillor and special representative of border talks.

Separately Menon also met Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, regarded as the one of front runners to post, and discussed the bilateral relations.

Dai and Menon had three sessions for three hours covering wide range of issues between the two countries, which included border talks.

K J M Varma in Beijing