News / Asia

India, China Work to Resolve Border Dispute

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (front) takes part in a welcoming ceremony next to an honour guard upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, Oct. 20, 2013.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (front) takes part in a welcoming ceremony next to an honour guard upon his arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, Oct. 20, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
As Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Beijing to meet top Chinese leaders, a key focus will be on a border pact. The agreement aims at easing tensions which spiraled earlier this year after alleged incursions by Chinese troops into territory claimed by India. Despite blossoming trade ties, mutual suspicions run deep.

In the days before Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lands in Beijing (October 22), diplomats on both sides have been busy putting finishing touches to a border pact.
 
Officials are hoping that barring last minute hitches, the agreement will be signed during Singh’s visit.
       
“Maintenance of peace, tranquility and stability on our border is an important factor in our bilateral ties, and it is expected that this would be an important aspect of the discussions as it is also the fundamental basis on which the rest of our bilateral relationship can proceed and grow,” said India’s Foreign Secretary, Sujatha Singh.

Efforts to reach a border agreement gained momentum following a tense three week standoff between their armies in April. It was triggered by Indian allegations that Chinese troops had trespassed into its territory in the Ladakh region.

Beijing denied any incursion, but there are growing concerns in India about increasing Chinese assertiveness along the border.  

Sujit Dutta, a China expert at New Delhi’s Jamia Milia University, said the border pact is aimed at preventing such faceoffs.
 
“It will enhance, hopefully, certain level of mechanisms on both sides to ensure that what happened earlier this year does not recur. Chinese after all came in 19 kilometers as far as Indian understanding of where the line of actual control is…Chinese troops had transgressed 19 kilometers. That is a lot of transgression, which can recur again, because the line of actual control has not been delineated,” Dutta said. 

Efforts to resolve that decades-old border dispute have failed despite numerous rounds of talks.

In New Delhi, suspicions have resurfaced with China upgrading its military infrastructure all along the border. India too has begun scaling up its roads and airports in border areas.

India also worries about China’s close relationship with Pakistan. Prime Minister Singh is expected to raise the latest concern -- Beijing’s plans to sell two nuclear civilian reactors to Islamabad.

Sujit Dutta said it is crucial for the two countries to resolve the boundary dispute so they can focus on other issues. "These can't be solved without being addressed squarely, because they have huge repercussions domestically in India. And public opinion is constantly at it," stated Dutta. "The media focuses on them and with public opinion becoming negative towards China on these matters, doing normal diplomatic and economic work then also becomes difficult. So each sector is integrated."

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that Beijing will work with India to build mutual strategic trust.  Chinese officials say that India and China are the two largest developing countries and emerging economies in the world, and there are great prospects for the two countries to engage in trade and cooperation.

Economic ties will be on the agenda of Singh's trip and he will urge China to increase its investment in India. While trade is booming, India is concerned about a trade deficit of nearly $30 billion. Srikanth Kondapalli is a China expert at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.
 
“In terms of trade deficit, there has been only piecemeal efforts done by China in this regard. In terms of investments we have not seen any major flow. $244 million is the Chinese investments in India. Also in infrastructure projects, there have not been any iconic projects unveiled so far,” Kondapalli said.
 
Despite the challenges, officials in both countries are sounding a positive note, projecting the relationship between the two Asian giants, who fought a war in 1962, as moving in the right direction.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs