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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid