M A I N   N E W S

India, China hold border meetings
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1
Indian and Chinese troops today conducted three separate border meetings along the 3,448-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) that runs in the Himalayas and is deemed to be the boundary between the two countries.

The meetings were conducted at the three designated meeting points for Army formation commanders to meet. These points were: Spanggur Gap in Eastern Ladakh, Nathu La in Sikkim and Bum La in Arunachal Pradesh and Brigadier-level officers led the delegation on either side.

Each of the places is separated by hundreds of kilometres and located at altitude in excess of 14,000 feet. The meetings were on the occasion of 64th Chinese National Day. Though scheduled long time back and are called the special border personnel meetings, the one conducted impromptu are termed ‘flag meetings’. These are to develop some understanding at the local level and to avoid an escalation in tempers.

These were the first official meetings since the August flare up in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh when both sides alleged transgressions.

Yesterday India and China had discussed the broad contours of the proposed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), which is expected to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing next month.

The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on the India-China Border Affairs concluded its two-day meeting in Beijing yesterday. The Indian delegation was led by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry, and consisted of representatives of the external affairs, defence and home ministries as well as members of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Today’s meeting between troops was on the Chinese side of the LAC. During the meetings, the Indian side is understood to have discussed the issue of transgression by Chinese troops into the Indian territory.

The two sides have been holding such meetings regularly since 1991 to maintain peace and tranquillity on the LAC through the forums of flag meetings and BPMs. During the event, Chinese cultural heritage was displayed that included various cultural programmes by the Chinese troops, officials said.

India and China are planning to have more such meeting points apart from the existing ones in Chushul, Bum La and Nathula. India wants at least two more such meeting points including one in Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh. 





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