NEW DELHI: In order to stop border incursions from adversely affecting bilateral relations, India and China on Tuesday inked an agreement to set up a mechanism of foreign ministries to coordinate and consult on a real-time basis to prevent any such incident along the long and mountainous border between the two countries.
The two-day talks between special representatives of both countries - National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo - ended with the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a ‘Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs’.
The other decision at the 15th round of the talks is to prepare a ‘joint agreed record’ on the progress made so far in the SR talks on the boundary issue.
Mathai said that it would help in the maintenance of a peaceful border. “It is a mechanism between the two foreign ministries which will ensure that anything happening on the border is immediately referred to higher authorities, so that we maintain, I repeat, maintain the relative peace and tranquility that exists on the border,” he said.
This agreement was first suggested by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao during his India visit in December 2010 and followed by an in-principle agreement at the meeting of Manmohan Singh and Chinese president Hu Jintao in April 2011 in Sanya.
The joint mechanism will be headed by a joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and a Director-General at the Chinese Foreign Ministry and comprises diplomatic and military officials from both sides.
The establishment of the working mechanism will be the first direct communication between the two sides.
The 16th round of boundary talks will be held in China.
Incidentally, Tibetan activists held flash protests and sit-ins near the venue of the talks at Hyderabad House on Tuesday. But, they were quickly bundled away by the police. The SR talks, scheduled for November 28, were postponed with China objecting to the presence of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in a global Buddhist conference in Delhi.