China underscores good-neighbor ties with India despite unsolved border

20:22, March 16, 2010      

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China on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to developing a good-neighbor relationship with India and urged joint efforts to solve the border issue.

"We would like to work with India to make a stronger relationship, becoming good neighbors, good friends and good partners forever," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular briefing on Tuesday.

Qin made the comments amid Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's ongoing visit to the United States.

Saying both countries are major developing nations and neighbors, Qin said it was in the fundamental interests of both nations and the world generally to beef up good-neighbor friendship and cooperation between China and India .

Qin underlined the Chinese government's recent efforts to boosting ties with India, citing high-level visits, stronger cooperation in trade, science, technology, environment, among others.

"Undoubtedly, the border issue remains unsettled between the two countries," Qin said, calling for a proper settlement through equal and friendly negotiations.

China and India share about 2,000 kilometers of border and the boundary has never formally been delimited.

The countries began to discuss border issues in the 1980s. Two agreements were signed in 1993 and 1996 respectively with an aim of maintaining peace and stability in the border area.

In 2003, the heads of the two countries' governments designated special representatives for demarcation work.

In 2005, China and India signed a political guideline on demarcation during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India. The two countries also announced a strategic cooperative partnership.

Qin appealed for joint efforts to ensure peace and stability along the border before finding a final solution to the border issue.

"With the China-India relationship progressing steadily, we believe the border issue will be properly settled," Qin said.

Source: Xinhua
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