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Indian FM kicks off 2-day China visit

(China Daily)

08:16, May 09, 2013

Salman Khurshid, Indian minister of external affairs

Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid will start a two-day visit to China on Thursday, which experts said demonstrates both sides' maturity to deal with border disputes and emphasis on relationship development.

The trip comes days after an end of a three-week border standoff between the two countries. Khurshid is scheduled to meet Premier Li Keqiang and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Wednesday said China and India have "timely and properly" solved the standoff in accordance with the common interests and wishes of both sides.

"The Chinese side always believes that healthy and stable relations between the two emerging economies are in line with the two peoples' interests and peace of Asia and the world," Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman, said at a news conference.

Frictions over the boundary had mounted after Indian media claimed that Chinese defense troops "trespassed on Indian territory" in the western sector of the disputed border area in mid-April. Khurshid suggested earlier he might reconsider his travel plans if there was no progress in resolving the dispute, according to AFP.

Border treaty

Beijing on Monday denied any incursion and called for both countries to work jointly to achieve a fair and reasonable border treaty that is accepted by both sides.

The settlement of the latest border dispute shows the two sides' consensus on safeguarding the border's tranquility, Hua said. "This is a result of our joint efforts based on our general interests."

The Indian Foreign Ministry also said on Monday that the two governments have agreed to restore the status quo along the Line of Actual Control, adding that talks between military officials were held to work out the logistics.

Sino-Indian relations have improved over the last couple of decades since the countries fought a brief border war in 1962. Fifteen rounds of talks have been held to resolve their border disputes.

Ma Jun, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science of the People's Liberation Army, said it's unlikely the standoff will be the last border dispute between China and India, but they have strong willingness and a mature dialogue mechanism to handle it.

Khurshid's visit reflects that the incident has not cast a cloud over the developing trend of bilateral relations. "It will also provide an opportunity for the two sides to better address such problem," he said.

"Only if our foreign minister goes to Beijing will we have clarity on what the Chinese concerns are," Alka Acharya, a professor of Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told the Washington Post.

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