Sujatha Singh says talks with China constructive on 'entire gamut of issues' at every level

Beijing, Oct. 23 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's talks with China have been constructive, and added that a broad range of issues were discussed at the bilateral, regional and global level.

"I can confirm to you that we had extremely useful and constructive discussions. China is one of India's most important and complex strategic partners. In the course of the talks we covered the entire gamut of issues at a bilateral level, regional level and at the larger global level," Singh said.

The Foreign Secretary also added that key issues like militancy, border dispute and socio-economic were also discussed in detail.

"The important points that came up were strategic communication between the two countries covering the entire gamut of relations, boundary issues, rivers, question of terrorism, regional development, and economic issues," she said.

Earlier today, India and China signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement to ease tensions on their contested border which has seen a series of stand offs in the recent past.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang led their respective sides as the two countries held delegation level talks in Beijing to iron out differences and improve ties.

Under the new border agreement, the two nuclear-armed sides will give notice of patrols along the undefined border. They will also ensure that patrols do not "tail" each other to reduce the chance of confrontation between the two sides.

Besides the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, several agreements to boost the thriving economic ties between the countries were signed after Singh's talks with Li.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day visit to China, said the border defence cooperation pact signed between India and China will add to existing instruments to ensure peace, stability and predictability on the borders that separate the two countries.

The Prime Minister also said that both sides agreed to enhance transparency and strengthen strategic communication at all levels to build mutual trust

"To build mutual trust, we have agreed to enhance transparency and strengthen strategic communication at all levels, including, as I said, on our shared neighbourhood. I flagged our interest in continued and expanded cooperation on trans-border rivers and received reassurances from Premier Li," Dr. Singh said.

The agreements are expected to change the situation along the India China border.

In May this year, the two armies ended a three-week standoff along the undefined border after Chinese troops set up a camp at least 10 km inside Indian territory, triggering public outcry and calls that India should stand up to its neighbour.

China had denied that their troops had crossed into the Indian territory.

Besides the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, several other pacts to boost their thriving economic ties were signed after Singh's talks with Li.

There have been frequent incidents of border incursions between the two sides, souring an otherwise thriving business environment. (ANI)

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