News / Asia

China, India Sign Deal Aimed at Soothing Himalayan Tension

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2nd L) attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 23, 2013.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2nd L) attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 23, 2013.
VOA News
Longtime regional competitors China and India have agreed to strengthen defense cooperation along their disputed, and sometimes tense, Himalayan border.
 
The agreement was signed on Wednesday in Beijing's Great Hall of the People following a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
 
China, a close ally of India's long-time foe, Pakistan, lays claim to more than 35,000 square miles that are disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 14,600 square miles of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.
 
The two countries fought a brief border war in 1962. Since then, ties have been mired by distrust. A series of alleged violations by Chinese military patrols earlier this year are the latest incidents inolving the contentious border.
 
“I am sure it will help to maintain peace, tranquillity and stability in our border areas,” China's Li told reporters following talks with Singh.

Prime Minister Singh said the defense cooperation pact will help ensure the India-China relationship is not further strained by the decades-old border dispute.
 
"Premier Li and I have agreed that the peace and tranquility of our borders must remain the foundation for growth in the India-China relationship. Even as we move forward the negotiations towards a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement to the India-China boundary question, this will be our strategic benchmark," said Singh.
 
The border defense cooperation agreement is built on existing confidence-building measures and is designed to ensure that patrolling along the Line of Actual Control, as the unsettled border is called, does not escalate into an unintended skirmish, an Indian official said last week.
 
Singh said the agreement “will add to the existing instruments to ensure peace, stability and predictability on our borders.”
 
Under the new deal, the two sides will give notice of patrols along the ill-defined border to ensure that patrols do not “tail” each other to reduce the chance of confrontation. Patrols are to exercise “maximum self-restraint” should the two sides come face to face in areas where the line of control is unclear.
 
The two armies, strung out along the 2,500-mile border from the high-altitude Ladakh plateau in the west to the forests of Arunachal Pradesh in the east, have also agreed to look at setting up a hotline between top-ranking officers in addition to existing brigade-level contacts.
 
The border defense cooperation pact is a small step forward in a complicated relationship marked by booming economic ties and growing distrust.
 
In May, armies from the two countries ended a three-week standoff in the western Himalayas after Chinese troops set up a camp at least six miles inside territory claimed by India, triggering a public outcry and calls that India should stand up to its powerful neighbour.
 
China denied that troops had crossed into Indian territory.
 
A Chinese airline earlier this month blocked two Indian archers from disputed Arunachal Pradesh from travelling to China, souring the mood in India ahead of Singh's visit.
 
But Li sought to play down the differences.
 
“China and India are two old civilizations,” he said. “Our two peoples have the wisdom and our two governments have the ability to manage our differences along the border so that it won't affect the overall interests of our bilateral relations.”

Prime Minister Singh, who is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, is also using the visit to forge closer economic ties with Beijing. Specifically, India wants greater access to Chinese markets in order to balance out trade that is heavily tilted in China's favor.

Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: RAMESH from: BHILAI
October 25, 2013 3:15 AM
Hi,
This is one more step towards slavery. No vision in indian leadership towards country security & its integration. Indian political leader not known the fact that china can not won the war against India.Why india should bother about china ? No strategy against china boundary expansion. Why not India offer USA an airbase in Arunachal Pradesh? Why not India make treaty for air bases in Taiwan & Japan? Why not acquired more submarine, Aircraft carrier? Increases bunker buster bombs to 500 nos so that under ground facilities of China air force, Navy can be under control ? no political will in indian leaders.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs