India, China hold 16th round of border talks

Beijing, June 28 (IANS) India and China began the 16th round of their border talks here Friday led by their special representatives - National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon from India and State Councillor Yang Jiechi from China.

This is the first meeting of the special representatives on border talks since the new Chinese leadership took over in March and comes in the aftermath of the Chinese troop incursion in Ladakh that raised temperatures between the two neighbours.

While Menon has helmed the border talks earlier, Yang, the former foreign minister, took over as state councillor and top diplomat in March. His predecessor, Dai Bingguo, had served as the special representative since the mechanism was introduced in 2003.

The two-day talks are expected to be followed by the visit of Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony from July 4- 7.

Yang was quoted as saying that he is ready to break new ground on the border talks.

"I stand ready to work with you to build on the work of our predecessors and break new ground to strive for the settlement of the China-India boundary question and to make greater progress in the China India strategic an cooperative partnership in the new period," he said here.

Menon is to also meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit besides Foreign Minister Wang Yi, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media in Beijing.

Premier Li, during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month, had said the festering boundary question is to be resolved through negotiations between their special representatives.

The June 28-29 talks is expected to focus on the recent Chinese troop intrusion in Depsang in Ladakh.

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