Sunday, July 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India, China move ahead on LAC
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, July 22 — Sino-Indian relations today received a forward push with the two countries agreeing on several measures, including expeditious steps for delineating the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the middle sector covering mutual boundary in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The agreement on several measures between the two countries was arrived at the two-and-half hours long discussions between the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr Tang Jiaxuan, and the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh.

Talking to newspersons after their meeting, the Chinese Foreign Minister said that somewhere a beginning had to be made for speeding up the momentum of negotiations with India on the clarification of the LAC between the two countries.

Mr Tang, who is on his first visit to India, said both countries had agreed to work towards the development of good ties between them. He said the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, had reaffirmed the direction of Sino-Indian relations during his visit to China in May-June this year.

The two ministers talked about the progress on the ongoing engagements in five specific areas. It was stressed that economic relations and bilateral trade constitute an important foundation for developing relations further, the spokesman said.

Mr Tang mentioned that while the bilateral trade in 1999 stood at $ 1.98 billion in the first four months of the current year the bilateral trade has already touched a figure of $ 824 million.

The two countries also agreed to step up cooperation in the field of military contacts. Indian naval ships would visit Shanghai in September this year, the spokesman said. It is expected that exchanges of the armed forces between the two sides at the level of Chief of Staff would begin soon.

The two ministers also agreed to raise the dialogue on security issues from the Joint Secretary level to the level of the Additional Secretary. The next dialogue would be held in New Delhi towards the end of the year or early next year, the spokesman said.

On the boundary issue, the two ministers reaffirmed the need for increasing the frequency of the meeting of the expert group on boundary to as many times as necessary.


Farooq briefs Krishan Kant
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, July 22 — The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who returned here yesterday after his visits to Hyderabad and Chennai, met the Union Home Minister, Mr L K Advani, again today on the autonomy issue.

Earlier in the day, Dr Abdullah along with his Cabinet colleagues, called on the Vice-President, Mr Krishan Kant, at the latter’s residence.

The Chief Minister apprised Mr Kant of the various provisions and the “spirit” behind the autonomy resolution passed by the state Assembly, official sources said.

Dr Abdullah had also met a former Prime Minister, Mr Chandra Shekhar, last night as part of his efforts to arrive at a consensus on the autonomy issue.

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