Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:30:00 GMT | By PTI

India, China to sign landmark pact on border ties

PM arrives in Chinese capital; both countries plan to sign agreement aimed at avoiding face-offs between the two countries


India, China to sign landmark pact on border ties (© Reuters)

Beijing: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day visit during which India and China are expected to ink several key pacts, including an agreement on a mechanism to prevent incursions by Chinese troops along the line of actual control.

Singh, who arrived here from Russia, will hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday on a host of issues. He will also meet Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament.

Besides the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, a series of pacts are expected to be signed after his talks with Li, officials said. The landmark agreement on border cooperation — expected to be signed on Wednesday — is aimed to avoid face-offs between the two countries like in Depsang valley in Ladakh recently. However, plans for putting in place a liberalised visa regime look elusive.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here to a warm reception on his three-day visit, will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday after which the border agreement is expected to be signed.

Giving indications that decks have been cleared for signing of BDCA, sources said, "Don't ask about the outcomes now. We will give you details tomorrow."

The BDCA was cleared by the Cabinet committee on security last week as part of further confidence building measures to avoid incidents along the LAC which has seen many intrusions from the Chinese side.

The BDCA also provides for setting up of a hotline between the DGMOs of the two countries on the lines of the mechanism India has with Pakistan.

The deal is expected to be cleared after talks between Singh and Li, who will host a lunch for the Prime Minister. This is the second meeting between the two leaders in five months after the Chinese Premier visited India in May.

On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping will also host a banquet dinner for Singh, signifying the importance attached to the Indian leader's visit.

Along with Li, Singh will address business leaders attending the second India-China CEOs Forum being held on the sidelines of the Indian Prime Minister's visit.

Ten top Indian industrialists led by Reliance Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group chief Anil Ambani and prominent Chinese industrialists are taking part in the CEOs' meeting.

On October 24, Singh will address future leaders at the central school of the Communist Party of China before his departure.

China has said Singh's visit is of great importance for deepening the bilateral strategic partnership. "We attach great importance to the visit and are looking forward to it," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"It is of great importance to deepen China-India strategic partnership" as Singh's visit follows the one made by Premier Li Keqiang to India in May, she said.

Ahead of his arrival, Singh told the Chinese state-run media that he had attempted to put bilateral relations on a "stable growth path" during the past nine years. "Working together with the Chinese leadership, my attempt has been to create a forward looking agenda for our bilateral relations. There has been tremendous increase in our economic exchanges as both India and China themselves have grown and prospered," he said.

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