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China downplays ambassador's remarks on Arunachal Pradesh

By Anil K Joseph in Beijing
November 14, 2006 15:16 IST
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Amid India's strong rejection of Chinese claim of sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, Beijing on Tuesday sought to downplay the issue. It said it was the 'strategic goal' of the two countries to find an early, fair and rational solution to the vexed boundary issue.

"I have not seen such a report. I will double check," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

Jiang refused to comment further when asked about New Delhi's rejection of Beijing's claim that Arunachal Pradesh
was Chinese territory.

Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi claimed on Monday that the east Indian state was 'Chinese territory'.

Sun had told CNN-IBN, "In our position, the whole of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory and Tawang is only one
place in it. We are claiming whole of that (Arunachal Pradesh). That is our position."

Later, while commenting on the larger India-China boundary issue and ongoing negotiations, Jiang said that it was the strategic goal of the two sides to find a mutually acceptable solution to the vexed boundary issue.

"The early solution of the border issue between China and India is the strategic goal of the two sides," she said. "Both sides are devoted to find a fair and rational solution acceptable to all parties."

Before the solution of the issue, the two sides have made joint efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border region, Jiang said.

She noted that both China and India have appointed special representatives on the boundary issue to jointly discuss it.

The special representatives have met eight times so far and in April last year, the two governments have signed the 'Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the settlement of the India-China Boundary Question', she noted.

After this, the special representatives have met three times and discussed the 'framework agreement', she said.

According to the consensus of the two sides, the ninth meeting of the special representatives will be held in India.

The specific time for the meeting will be decided through consultations between the two sides, the spokeswoman added.

India says China is illegally occupying 43,180 sq kms of Jammu and Kashmir including 5,180 sq km illegally ceded to Beijing by Islamabad under the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement in 1963.

China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sq km of Chinese territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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