The 21st meeting of the Special Representatives of China and India on Border Issues was held in Chengdu, Sichuan on the 24th. Many foreign media have noted that the two sides have indicated that they reached an “important understanding” on the boundary question. “India and China are determined to step up their efforts to find a solution to the boundary question”, the Times of India reported on the 25th, adding that India and China not only decided to “achieve an early and fair resolution of the boundary question acceptable to both sides”, but also stressed that, pending a final settlement on the border, they will jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas between the two countries.
The Special Representatives of China and India are State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and Indian National Security Advisor, Doval. The Press Trust of India said that this was the first time that Wang Yi had met India for a meeting of the SRs on border issues after he became a member of the State Council. The last meeting of the Special Representatives on border issues was held against the backdrop of the Doklam confrontation between the two countries.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release that the two sides had conducted in-depth communication on stepping up measures for building trust in the border areas, on properly managing disputes and on the framework for resolution of the boundary question, reached an important understanding and had each proposed a series of positive and constructive suggestions. The two sides agreed to implement the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries at all levels, including the front line forces, agreed to gradually expand border trade and personnel exchanges, and agree to authorize the China-India Border Affairs Consultation and Coordination mechanism to initiate negotiations on “early harvest” measures based on the above understanding and recommendations so as to accomplish concrete results as soon as possible..
The Press Release of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the two sides agreed to adopt new measures to avoid border conflicts in the future and agreed to accelerate the development of partnerships without compromising their respective major interests and concerns.
India’s Deccan Herald said on the 25th that this was the first meeting between the Special Representatives of the two countries on border issues since the informal meeting between the Indian and Chinese leaders. In addition to boundary issues, the two sides also reviewed the development of bilateral relations since the leaders’ meeting. The two sides agreed that India-China relations had made comprehensive and positive progress and entered a new stage of development.
India’s First Post commented that the meeting of the Special Representative for the Border Issues was considered significant because, in addition to the boundary question, the talks covered almost all aspects of bilateral relations. Although the negotiations have been carried out for 20 rounds, the possibility of reaching a solution is still low; however the two countries have done a lot of spadework to ensure peace and tranquility on the border.