Asserting that the commitment of the Indian and Chinese leadership to maintain peace on the frontiers is an important guarantor for progress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the border dispute is not an "easy issue" to tackle and will take time to resolve. "This is not an easy issue and will take time to resolve," Singh, who arrived here today on a three-day visit, told the Chinese media in a written interview. "Boundary question between India and China is complex and sensitive. We have established the Special Representatives (SRs) mechanism to find a political solution to the boundary question," he said.
The two countries are expected to sign the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to prevent Chinese incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during Singh's visit. The SRs have "worked hard and arrived at the political parameters and guiding principles for a boundary resolution", Singh said while answering a question on the work done so far. "In the present stage of their negotiations, they are seeking a framework for a boundary resolution. I support the work done by the Special Representatives of the two sides," he added.
"In the meantime, both the governments of India and China are committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas," Singh said. "This is an important guarantor and a fundamental basis for further progress and growth in our bilateral ties."
The leadership on both sides is united on this issue, he said as he emphasised the need to maintain peace at the borders. "As long as we follow the principles and procedures set out in the agreements of 1993, 1996 and 2005, expand and improve upon them where necessary to take into account the changing reality of India and China and enhance dialogue and friendly exchanges between our border troops, I am confident that the strategic consensus between leaders will continue to be reflected on the ground," Singh said.
Replying to a question on the development of bilateral ties in the past ten years and what message he would give to China's new leadership, Singh said, "During the past nine years that I have been Prime Minister, I have attempted to put India-China relations on a stable growth path. "Working together with the Chinese leadership, my attempt has been to create a forward looking agenda for our bilateral relations. There has been tremendous increase in our economic exchanges as both India and China themselves have grown and prospered," he said.
The two sides have managed their differences and "kept our border region tranquil". At the same time, they have not allowed their differences to "come in the way of expanding our cooperation in diverse areas", he said. "Stability and predictability in our relations has proved invaluable as both India and China address their internal priorities, particularly growth and development of 2.5 billion people," he said.