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Panel Expresses Concerns Over China’s Inconsistencies On Boundary Issue

The Special Representative (SR) mechanism was established in 2003 following the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s landmark visit to China

NEW DELHI: The External Affairs Parliamentary Committee in its recently released report on India-China ties have expressed concern over Beijing’s inconsistencies in adhering to principles agreed by the Special Representative (SR) mechanism that is aimed at addressing protracted boundary dispute.

The panel noted that it is wary of the inconsistencies shown by China from time to time. The track record of China does not inspire confidence and therefore the committee desires that India should prevail upon China to ensure that the principles are adhered to, according to the report.

The SR mechanism was established in 2003 following the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s landmark visit to China and since then 20 rounds of talks have been held between the NSA and his Chinese counterpart. The mechanism is a viable way to pursue the resolution of boundary dispute.

The committee is aware that it is a three-stage process and the first stage was already over with the signing of an “Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles on the settlement of the India-China Boundary Question” in April, 2005.

One of the guiding principles clearly established that settled populations will not be disturbed and the committee is perturbed that by constantly claiming parts of Arunachal Pradesh, which are populated by lakhs of Indian citizens, China is not adhering to this guiding principle, the report stated, adding Point Nos. 12 and 13 of the written Common Understanding reached between the SRs in December, 2012, were clearly violated by China during the recent Doklam stand-off.

“The committee desires to be briefed regularly on the progress, if any, being made in pursuing bilateral negotiations to conclusively define the border,” the report pointed out.

The panel further stated that it had been seized of the problem related to inadequate infrastructure, including roads along the India-China border.

The panel, according to the report, has been assured by the three ministries –. Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs — about the likely improvements in the state of border roads.

“Considering the gravity of the situation, and given the recent Doklam crisis, the committee is of the strong view that the government should significantly enhance the level of priority it gives to border roads. During its visit to the India-China border areas, the committee was shown pictures of infrastructure developed on both sides of the border and major discrepancies were clearly visible.

“The committee therefore feels that the Indian side needs to do a lot more. It goes without saying that better connectivity clearly gives an advantage to China in terms of defence preparedness. The committee, therefore, desires that for a strong Indian presence on the border, better infrastructure should be created for habitation and transportation so that our armed forces may not feel any difficulty in accommodation, logistics, movement and infrastructure as well as storage and movement of arms and ammunition in emergency,” it said in its recommendation.




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