National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon will hold talks with China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing for the 16th round of the special representative-level talks on border on Friday and Saturday. After the last round of talks in January 2012, Menon had said there was considerable progress on the border front.
He noted that both countries were in the second stage, which involves agreeing on a framework to settle the boundary question.
Menon’s China visit assumes significance in the wake of the three-week-long face-off at the Depsang valley between Indian and Chinese troops.
The Chinese incursion was unusual, as it was the first time the foreign troops had entered the disputed western sector and pitched camps, rather than sending patrols which return to their territory.
Even though New Delhi is still clueless on the motive behind the intrusion just before the India visit of new Premier Li Keqiang, there had been speculations that it was the Chinese way of spotlighting its proposal for a new border defence cooperation agreement.
China first gave India a draft of the agreement when a senior PLA official visited New Delhi in March.
And India gave its version of the draft at an official-level meeting in the run-up to Li’s visit. After their meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Li tasked the special representatives (SRs) with considering more measures to maintain peace and tranquility along the long, disputed border.