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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More