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Upcoming India - China border talks likely to be a drawn game

August 7, 2009

August 6, 2009

Dharamsala, August 6 -- India and China are at
loggerheads in their border talks over Beijing’s
claim on Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh as its
territory. The negotiations between the two
"emerging powers" are stuck on this since 2007
with not much hope for the dissolution of the
differences when India’s national security
adviser M K Narayanan meets Chinese vice-foreign
minister Dai Bingguo Friday for the next round of talks in New Delhi.

China claims the northeastern Indian state as its
territory and blames the Macmohan line created by
Britain for overlooking the region that China
says its traditionally held by it.

The sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, was born
in Tawang, that forms the basis for Chinese claim
on the region mostly inhabited by Buddhists.

While arriving at a final settlement of the
border dispute, says India, there must be no
exchange of territory in populated areas. Prime
minister Manmohan Singh has publicly pointed out
that only uninhabited areas can be exchanged.

Tawang has around 20,000 people, all Indian citizens.

An agreement on political parameters and guiding
principles for settlement of the boundary dispute
was signed when Chinese primeire Wen Jiabao was in Delhi in April 2005.

"The two sides will now have to bridge the gap on
the understanding of the political parameters
before there can be a forward movement," a senior
Indian official was quoted today by Daily News Analysis.

Alka Acharya, a China specialist at the
Jawaharlal Nehru University, says, "The border
negotiations have now come to the nitty-gritty of
territorial exchanges. It is common practice for
countries engaged in such complex talks to
reiterate their helps to take a
maximilist public position and drum up claims
outside the closed doors. These are acknowledged
tactics. India can do the same and lay claim to the whole of Aksai Chin."

China earlier this year stunned India by
objecting Indian President Pratibha Patil’s visit
to Arunachal Pradesh, and blocking India’s
development plan at the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) containing a $60 million project for
Arunachal Pradesh. Last year, China opposed to
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state.

India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sq
kms of Jammu and Kashmir including 5,180 sq km
illegally ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the
Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963. On the
other hand, China accuses India of possessing
some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.
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