News / Asia

Top Indian, Chinese Officials Discuss Border Dispute

Shannon Sant
Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon is in Beijing, meeting with top Chinese officials to discuss their long-running border dispute, development cooperation and other bilateral issues.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said Shivshankar Menon met with his Chinese counterpart, Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the National People's Congress and Premier Wen Jiabao.  

Hong Lei said the two countries agree that as the largest developing countries in the world, China and India face opportunities for development and challenges. He said the two countries can cooperate for common development.

Chinese State Councilor and Special Representative on the Boundary Question, Dai Bingguo (L) and Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon smile after signing an agreement in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2012.Chinese State Councilor and Special Representative on the Boundary Question, Dai Bingguo (L) and Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon smile after signing an agreement in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2012.
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Chinese State Councilor and Special Representative on the Boundary Question, Dai Bingguo (L) and Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon smile after signing an agreement in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2012.
Chinese State Councilor and Special Representative on the Boundary Question, Dai Bingguo (L) and Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon smile after signing an agreement in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2012.
The talks between India and China focus in large part on boundary disputes. Analysts said the countries have made little progress since the first round of talks, which resulted in the 2005 agreement on guiding principles for boundary settlement.

During the second stage of talks, diplomats aim to create a framework for boundary settlement. The boundary disputes concern several thousand kilometers of land bordering Tibet and India.

Shivshankar Menon’s trip to China comes amidst rising tension about the South China Sea, a waterway rich in potential oil and gas reserves. India is not one of the countries that claims territory in the region, but this week Indian naval officials said they will protect their maritime and economic interests there.

India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has a stake in a gas field off the coast of Vietnam.

Although China may claim the oil and gas deposits in the South China Seas, Shi Yinhong, professor or international relations at Renmin University, said nationalist passions will not ultimately determine the country’s foreign policy.

“I think the statesmen on both sides are prudent and responsible," said Yinhong. "They know that India and China have rivalries and suspicions, but it will be enormously difficult to escalate into conflict.”

India and China launched their border talks in 2003. Dai Bingguo has been China’s special representative in all of the 15 rounds so far. Dai will retire in March; Menon did not meet with any members of the newly appointed seven-member standing committee of the Communist Party of China.

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by: Paul
December 08, 2012 8:22 AM
I agree with Naivity, and he does not sound like he is anti-china but rather stating facts.
Redcliff is chinese and he is trying to defend china but failing to to so


by: remie from: canada
December 08, 2012 8:13 AM
@ redcliff,

By reading ur comment , I believe u r Chinese. China is not a peaceful country and their history proofs it. There is not enough time to go into detail about their history ,so research it for yourself They fabricate their victories and lie about their lost. These Sea has not been at dispute for long like u suggest ,so do not make up facts.
Did u look at China claim in South Sea? Pure greed and ridiculous. I do agree for a resolution so why does not China gather their evidence and bring to court?
We all know they have none and dealing with individual country is an advantage for china to bully them.


by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 07, 2012 6:30 PM
@ Naivity

Please do not just take a leave out of Wikipedia on the Warring States Period and justified your comments. My advise to you with regard to this part of the Chinese history is to read further down the page and educate yourself on the Spring and Autumn Period of the Chinese History and how China was unified.
Your comment on the EEZ does not dispute of the correctness of those areas pertaining to relevant countries as I have listed but merely enlarging on some information of your understanding of the EEZ.
If you care to digest what my comments instead of busy finding faults and get over your anti-China syndrome you might be able to understand what my comments were about. Your mentality that any positive comments by someone on China is a bias person need some soul searching.
As to your last comment. Thank you for agreeing with me and support my proposal of allowing Asia future generations to live together peacefully without the threat of wars.


by: Wangchuk from: NYC
December 07, 2012 10:37 AM
India should be very careful negotiating border disputes w/ China. China invaded Tibet in 1950 and India in 1962. China claims Arunachal Pradesh which has been Indian territory since 1904. I urge India to help us Tibetans regain our freedom. A free Tibet will be a buffer state between India & China & help stability in the region.


by: Naivity
December 07, 2012 6:20 AM
@Redcliff: I am shocked by your knowledge of history.You totally misunderstood the tributary system.Ancient China was situated in the so-called Central Plain which lies at the top of the Yangtse river.China got to its present size today through wars,military conquests and genocide.The lands that China conquered and annexed include: Southern China which belonged the the BaiYue or Hundred Viet tribes,of which Vietnamese are the most direct descendants;Eastern Turkistan or Xinjang;Tibet,Inner Mongolia and many more.China invaded and seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam in Jan 1974.They invaded North Vietnam in Jan 1979,laying waste to 6 northern provinces,killing thousands.So you can't just say that China has never invaded and conquered any country.Even the name China itself means the Middle Country.They have always wanted to refer to themselves as the centre of universe and have always wanted to conquer all lands around them.Being smaller and weaker,the only way to be left alone to lead a peaceful life,was to pay tributes to China every 3 years to appease them,so that China would not carry out any more wars of conquests,causing unnecessary deaths and sufferings.It is not just because you conquered a country once,you can make a historical claim on it.Likewise,Great Britain could claim most of the world then;and Japan some Chinese provinces like Manchuria,Shanghai and Nanking.As for the Exclusive Economic zones,you got them wrong again.All countries bordered by the seas,are entitled to 12 nautical miles from their shores,and a further 200 nautical miles known as EEZ for economic explorations.All the world's oceans belong to mankind,not exclusive to any particular country.That's why a set of rules has been put in place so that no country would illegally seize them for their own use because of their size and strength.China's seashore areas are only on the east coast.Japan is an island nation who is surrounded all around by seas,they therefore have bigger EEZ.The USA may be in decline and China is on the rise,but that doesn't mean that China could establish a new world order by themselves.When your very own existence is threatened,you would have to fight back.China started the arms race to give them more bargaining powers over territorial claims.The smaller countries would have to arm themselves and flock behind Japan and America for their own survival.China has always been and would always be a war-mongering,blood-thirsty and bullying country.If it hadn't been for America,there would now be no China,and most Chinese would now still live in poverty.Rome wasn't built in one day,but it was destroyed in one night.So for the sake of mankind,learn to live in peace for once,and let the future generations to have a chance to lead a happy,peaceful and enjoyable life without the threats of wars and destructions


by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 06, 2012 8:22 PM
@ Economic bait

For centuries Asian Nations had been involved in wars over territories through greed and in the name of patriotism. In doing so millions of innocent lives perished over this time span.
I am not sure you are correct in just pointing the figure at China alone.
From my reading of history China apart from unification of its country had and has not dominate and occupied any nations.
In past history China has this Tributary system with other nations but this is not the same as conquering and occupied them.
With regards to your claim that China so far rob so much land and sea areas from its neigbours is incorrect.
To assist your understanding of what you called sea area which I assumed you mean EEZ( extended economic zone) I have listed the countries with their EEZ for your compariion and understanding. These areas are in square kilometers.

USA 12,234,403
India including Andaman Island 2,305,145
Australia 8,505,348
New Zealand 6,682,503
Russia 7,566,673
Japan 4,479,358
Philippines 1,590,780
China 879,666
Vietnam 417,663
South Korea 300851

Based on China land mass it is far lower than that of Japan, the Philippines and India as well as USA, Australia Russia and New Zealand.

Hope these information clear up your misunderstanding of your claim of China robbing other neighbouring nations of their sea area and land.
Currently other Asian nations are in dispute with China over a number of Islands. These areas have not been included in the EEZ


by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 06, 2012 4:47 PM
@ Naivity

I am quite well aware of the current situation in the Asian Region as you have commented.
The existence of territories claimed and wasr fought over them by Asian nations have been occurring over hundreds of years if not longer. The current situation is no different. The only different now is that they are using high tech weapons which killed more innocent civilians.
Most Asian nations are upgrading their defense arsenal and thus causing an arm race and resulting in raising the temperature. Of cause their defense budget are not comparable to that of China, India or Japan and at the same time Security is always in their mind but by the same token Economy and Trades are also the main objection.
Australia is no different. For years now Australia defense budget has been decreasing in real term and having American base in Australia in a way would give protection and at least counter this budget short fall. It would be very naive of you not to think so. As an Australian I am embarrass to say this but in a way we are piggy bagging on our Ally the US and I am sure the rest of the smaller Asian Nations think the same way.
If China and India the two largest Developing Nations in the Asian Region could sit down and resolve their differencs then most if not some of the Asian Nations would at least consider of resolving their dispute in the same manner.
As a result we would at least see some long lasting peace and prosperity in Asia.
Without much conflict US would not be spending large sum of their defense budget in the Asian Region instead US could redirect it to their domestic consumption and improve their debt level
Now do you still see my point as being naive or you would like to continue complain and whinge like many Australian do.


by: Naivity
December 06, 2012 5:34 AM
@Redcliff: It is really naïve to think that China is serious about any discussion regarding territorial disputes.China has always insisted on defending its so-called territorial integrity at all costs including the use of force,despite these areas lawfully belonging to other countries.China never wants to engage in talks or discussions.It simply tries to sweettalk their neighbours into compromise by promising them potentially commercial benefits.Those who resist,would be threatened economic and military reprisals.China never rests until it succeeds in taking over the whole South China Sea and all those areas that it shamelessly and unlawfully claims theirs.Why do you think the Australian government allowed the Americans to have a base in Darwin? Why do most ASEAN countries welcome America's military presence in South East Asia? Because everybody is quite aware of the imminent threats from China.You see,once China has secured its control over South China Sea,they would then move on to Indonesia and Australia.So stop daydreaming a peaceful world with China.It would never happen until China revoke all its stupid,ungrounded and unreasonable territorial claims


by: Redcliff from: Aus
December 05, 2012 7:45 PM
This is a very good sign for India and China to sit down and endeavour to arrive at some form of understanding and hopefully a resolution to its border dispute.
As the two largest developing nations in the Asian Region it is imperative that a favourable result should eventuate for the good and prosperity of this Region.
Let this also be an example to all other nations that currently have dispute with China.


by: kanaikaal irumporai from: -
December 05, 2012 6:23 PM
This Menon, while being the foreign secretary of India, made several trips along with his ethnic kin M. K narayanan, to neighbouring Sri Lanka to assist that country's Genocidal war(especially the use of chemical weapons) against the Tamil-nation. Unknowingly the Sri Lankans have video taped the converastions and threaten to expose the chap if India interfered with Lanka's relations with the Chinese. So, whether he solves his northern border problems, there going to be tough times in preventing the Cinese from coming through India's tail!

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