BEIJING – China and India held the 22nd round of border talks on Saturday, where they agreed to seek early settlement of the decades-long dispute over two border areas, India’s foreign ministry said.
Both countries claim the same areas in the disputed Kashmir region, as well as parts of what India calls its easternmost state, Arunachal Pradesh.
India’s national security advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed during the routine meeting in New Delhi that “an early settlement of the border issue serves the fundamental interests of both countries.”
Delegations reaffirmed that, however, their countries needed to maintain “peace and tranquility” in border areas in order to strengthen their ties. The next round of talks will be held in China at a mutually convenient time.
The two countries waged a war over the border issue in 1962. Both signed a pact three decades later promising to resolve the dispute and drawing a line of demarcation in Kashmir, but tension continued and countries continued to have military troops at the border.
India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar responded in October to Beijing’s protest over New Delhi that formally divided the territory of Jammu and Kashmir into two states, saying China should respect the ruling. it was an internal affair of the country.
India formally divided the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate territories – the territory of the union of Jammu and Kashmir and the territory of the union of Ladakh, part of which is claimed by China. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the measure was “illegal” and Beijing firmly opposed it.
“China is well aware of India’s consistent and clear position on this issue. The issue of reorganizing the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is an entirely internal affair of India. We do not expect others including China, to comment on India’s internal affairs,” said Kumar.
The spokesman also said that China continued to illegally occupy much of India’s territory, in reference to the disputed border area of Aksai Chin in China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang.
“China continues to occupy a large area in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” Kumar accused.