Indo-China talks hits roadblock; meet postponed 2 days prior

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New Delhi, Nov 26: In a first, boundary talks between India and China were postponed for next week. With the reasons for the postponement not revealed, sources have divulged that the decision was taken at the highest level. In what can be seen as a knee-jerk reaction following the hard stand taken by China on the flaring border issue, India is understood to be taking a more calculated approach to tackle the issue.

MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash commented, "We are looking forward to the 15round of special representative talks in the near future and the two sides remain in touch to find convenient dates for the meeting." The meeting has been reported to be indefinitely postponed.

With India postponing the talks two days before, it is very evident that the matter leading to it is of serious nature. China's envoy Dai Bingguo was scheduled to arrive in India for the 15 round of special representatives' talks with India's national security advisor, Shivshankar Menon. The meeting was to be held on Nov 28. With the popular reason being that the postponement was due to a scheduling issue, there are undercurrent tensions that is believed to be under play for the same.

Both the India and Chinese counterparts were supposed to discuss and put in place a mechanism to maintain peace and tranquility on the border pending a settlement. With the border tensions featuring in the recent meeting with PM Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, both were keen to put in place a mechanism for ensuring cordial relations.

With the main point of contention being China's growing presence in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the dialogue had failed especially during the East Asia Summit in Bali. Sources have revealed that the reasons for the failure in productive dialogue was China's demands that India considered unacceptable. Both sides however did not comment on the issue then.

The other matter that has irked China is India's plans of oil exploration in the South China sea. China is understood to be not too keen on the move citing that New Delhi was extending its influence on Chinese territory.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing also did not reveal anything about the talks. On the upcoming border talks, he commented, "Currently, the two sides are still in touch on the specific arrangements including the date of the meeting and I do not have information at this stage."

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