China, India sign accord on border dispute
NEW DELHI - India and China signed a landmark accord aimed at resolving a boundary dispute that has bedevilled relations between the Asian giants for more than four decades, the Indian foreign ministry said.
Wu Dawei, Chinese deputy foreign minister, who is accompanying Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on his official visit to India, told reporters after the signing ceremony that the agreement has laid foundations for solving the border issue between the two countries.
Wu, in charge of Asian affairs, said that the two sides still need to make
joint efforts as the demarcation of the border is concerned.
"The differences on the boundary question should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations," the agreement, released by the ministry, says.
"The two sides will resolve the boundary question through peaceful and friendly consultations. Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means.
"The final solution of the boundary question will significantly promote good neighbourly and friendly relations between India and China," it said.
India and China will "make meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments to their respective positions on the boundary question, so as to arrive at a package settlement to the boundary question," it added.
"The boundary settlement must be final, covering all sectors of the India-China boundary."
Bilateral "strategic and reasonable interests, and the principle of mutual and equal security" will be kept in mind while arriving at a final settlement, the agreement says.
The accord will help special representatives named by India and China in 2003 negotiate territorial claims as experts delineate the boundary on a map and on the ground, Indian officials said.
The dispute is the consequence of a brief but bitter border conflict in 1962 that left relations between the world's two most populous countries in shreds.