India-China border talks slated for next year

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart agreed to hold the next round of border talks in India next year at a daylong meeting held in Hyderabad on Friday. The meeting came against the backdrop of a series of dampeners appearing prominently in the bilateral ties, including the recent stand-off between the two Armies at the border.

Mr. Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi discussed a gamut of issues covering bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said.

No mention of NSG, Azhar

However, his statement did not carry any reference to the two key issues of India’s concern vis-a-vis China — India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the U.N. ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Both are held up because of China’s tough positioning.

This was Mr. Yang’s third visit to India in the last two months. “The discussions, conducted in a friendly, open and cordial environment, covered a wide agenda spanning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. The two sides appreciated that 2016 is an important year for bilateral engagement, with President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the BRICS Summit and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China for the G-20 Summit being the major highlights of high-level exchanges,” he said.

Both sides agreed to hold the 20th round of Special Representatives talks on the border question in India next year.

The 19th round was held in Beijing, where they agreed to continue the negotiations to reach a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.” Both Mr. Doval and Mr. Yang are the Special Representatives for the border talks.

The MEA spokesperson said the two leaders agreed that their consultations helped to enhance mutual understanding and would contribute to greater mutual trust. They agreed to continue such consultations in future.

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