Border issue to top Manmohan Singh’s agenda in China
New Delhi: Indicating that the proposed border cooperation agreement with China will top the agenda during his visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said he will discuss the issue with Premier Li Keqiang with a forward-looking and problem-solving approach. In a statement before leaving on a five-day visit to Russia and China, he, however, made no reference to negotiations on a deal for setting up of two new nuclear reactors in the Russian-aided Kudankulam power project.
"India and China have historical issues and there are areas of concern. The two governments are addressing them with sincerity and maturity, without letting them affect the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation," Singh said. "I will be discussing some of these issues as part of strategic communication between leaders with a forward-looking and problem-solving approach," he said in the departure statement.
Singh noted that together India and China have reached important consensus on maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border and made preliminary progress towards settlement of the India-China boundary question. Officials on both sides are working on a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to avoid face-off between their armies against the backdrop of a prolonged intrusion by People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh during this summer.
There are indications that the agreement may be signed during the visit. On Wednesday, after discussion and lunch with the Chinese premier, Prime Minister Singh will be hosted a dinner by President Xi Jinping, a rare honour for an Indian leader.
As the world's two most populous nations and largest emerging economies, India and China today have a growing congruence of regional, global and economic interests, driven by respective developmental aspirations and shaped by the evolving strategic environment, Singh said. Peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between India and China have provided conditions for both the countries and the wider region to grow with stability, he said.