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 India, China Talk About Border Amid Rising Tensions..

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PostSubject: India, China Talk About Border Amid Rising Tensions..   Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:30 pm

India, China Talk About Border Amid Rising Tensions





By PETER WONACOTT


NEW DELHI -- Shaded by an old war and a new economic rivalry, India and China sat down Friday for another attempt to settle the territory that divides them.
Indian National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo were scheduled to hold two days of talks on contested areas of their shared border. Although a breakthrough wasn't expected -- like the previous 12 rounds of meetings -- both sides sought to play down tensions between Asia's two largest emerging economies even amid signs they are escalating.
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Reuters

India's National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan greeted China's State Councillor Dai Bingguo before their talks in New Delhi.






"Despite the twists and turns in China-India ties and border disputes, the two countries share the same historical responsibilities of developing economies," China's ambassador to India, Zhang Yan, said in an interview Tuesday with the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency. Mr. Zhang urged the two nations to handle their problems "with the utmost political wisdom."
China's call for calm comes as the relationship enters choppy waters. With their companies jockeying for market share abroad and their militaries modernizing at home, China and India have been regarding each other less as friendly neighbors and more as future rivals.
India has lodged a record number of antidumping cases against China in the World Trade Organization. China has objected to a loan program from the Asian Development Bank that included a proposed flood-control project in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which covers territory Beijing claims as its own. Both countries have invested heavily in recent years upgrading their navies.
India and China fought a brief border war in 1962. India lost the war, but territorial disputes with China have endured. Aside from the area that India calls Arunachal Pradesh, the two countries also differ over part of the border with China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
Neither side is showing signs of budging on its claims. In July, as part of the ADB loan fracas, India's foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, told parliament that the government "has clearly conveyed to the Chinese side that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India."
On Friday, an Indian foreign-ministry spokesman declined to comment before the conclusion of the talks. China's foreign ministry also didn't offer any details of the meetings.
The sources of friction go well beyond contested territory. India continues to view with suspicion China's close strategic relationship with its arch-rival Pakistan, including recent deals to build nuclear reactors and manufacture jet fighters. China, meanwhile, has closely watched India's warming ties with the U.S., including a civilian nuclear deal that has formed the cornerstone of a new strategic partnership and its closer defense cooperation with the world's only superpower.
Brajesh Mishra, the former Indian national-security advisor and a participant in border talks in the past, believes the U.S. nuclear deal has become a source of hostility with China. He contends that India needs to cultivate similarly close ties to other countries to deter future attacks from China.
"The Chinese must know that if they create something on border there would be an instant reaction far beyond what happened in 1962," he said.—Vibhuti Agarwal contributed to this article.
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