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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Sino-Indian border stalemate continues after 13 talks

August 11, 2009

Tibetan Review
August 10, 2009

The 13th round of the Special Representative-level Sino-India talks
on the Indo-Tibet border, begun in 2003, ended in New Delhi on Aug 8
in an expected stalemate. The two-day talks, held after a gap of a
year, took place amid some recent difficulties in their relations.
However, it ended with India and China deciding to set up a hotline
between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao as a confidence
building measure, reported The Hindu newspaper Aug 8.

It may be noted that China had tried to block an Asian Development
Bank (ADB) loan for an Indian project in Arunachal Pradesh and tried
to thwart New Delhi's move to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad
Maulana Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN Security
Council. Besides, the two sides have been locked in fairly serious
trade disputes.

China was led, as before, by State Councilor Mr Dai Bingguo while
India was led by its National Security Advisor Mr MK Narayanan. Their
last round of talks was held in Sep 2008.

On Aug 7, China's Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu
rejected a pro-China Hong Kong newspaper report on the issue as
groundless. The newspaper, the Chinese-language Ming Pao, had
reported Aug 5 that China's "bottom" line in its border talks was
that it would possess only 28 percent of the disputed territory with
India. According to it, China would give up its demand for the east
stretch of the border (ie, Arunachal Pradesh) while India would give
up the west stretch (the 33,000 sq km Aksai Chin area) and "return"
to China a 2,000 sq km of territory in the middle section. But
China's official China Daily newspaper Aug 8 cited Fu Xiaoqiang, a
scholar on South Asia at China Institute of Contemporary
International Relations, as saying the Ming Pao report was based on
India's position.

China's official China's Daily newspaper Aug 8 said China and India
shared a border of about 2,000 km, with the disputed areas covering
about 125,000 sq km of territory. China has in the past indicated
willingness to compromise in other disputed areas in exchange for
Indian surrender of the strategic Tawang area in Arunachal Pradesh.

The boundary negotiations are stuck on the issue of Tawang since
2007, with little chance of resolution, according to a Daily News &
Analysis (India) report Aug 6. China claims the area maintaining that
the Tibetans were demanding it as the birthplace of the 6th Dalai
Lama, although the current Dalai Lama has made it clear that since
the McMahon Line agreement of 1914, the area, with a current
population of 20,000 Indian citizens, has been part of India. But
China's official Xinhua news agency Aug 7 maintained that the Chinese
government had never recognized what it called "the illegal McMahon Line".

An agreement on political parameters and guiding principles for
settlement of the boundary dispute was signed when prime minister Wen
Jiabao visited Delhi in Apr 2005. That agreement says populated areas
should not be a part of the exchange of territory for a compromise
solution to the dispute. China has been reneging on this since 2007.
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