India, China hold border talks; discuss CBMs in attempt to reconcile after Doka La episode

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National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi meet ahead of the 20th round of the India-China border talks. Twitter@MEAIndia

New Delhi: India and China agreed on Friday that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas, and exchanged ideas on various confidence-building measures (CBMs) in this regard as the two sides tried to put behind them the Doka La episode.
After a meeting between the Special Representatives (SRs) of India and China on the Boundary Question — Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India and Yang Jiechi, State Councillor — the external affairs ministry said the talks were “positive”.
During Friday’s border talks, first since the 73-day-long military standoff in Doka La, the two sides underlined the need to build on their convergences while seeking mutually acceptable resolutions of their differences with due respect for each other’s concerns, sensitivities and aspirations.

While the MEA statement did not say whether the Doka La issue was discussed, in Beijing, a spokesperson in Chinese foreign ministry skirted a question on whether it figured during the talks and instead said, “This mechanism is not only a high-level channel for dialogue on border issues between the two sides but also important platform for strategic communication between China and India.”
The Doka La standoff began on 16 June after the Indian troops intervened and stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area claimed by Bhutan as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its north-eastern states. The two armies “disengaged” on 28 August.

“The two sides agreed that pending the final resolution of the boundary question, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. In this regard, the Special Representatives exchanged ideas on various confidence-building measures,” the MEA said in a statement.

It further said, “The talks were positive and focused on bringing out the full potential of the Closer Developmental Partnership between the two countries.”

The SRs undertook a comprehensive review of earlier rounds of the talks and agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries.
They re-emphasised their commitment to achieving a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date.

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