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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs