The Border Defense Cooperation Agreement
, signed after a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, established that neither country would initiate a military confrontation.
The two sides also agreed not to follow the others’ patrols in locations where they disagree on demarcation of the border. Beijing and New Delhi have put forward conflicting claims about territorial rights over a 35,000-square-mile area in the Eastern Himalayas.
“We agreed that peace and tranquility on our borders must remain the foundation for growth in the India-China relationship, even as we move forward the negotiations towards a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement to the India-China boundary question,” Singh said after talks with Li.
Singh added that the two leaders agreed to respect each other’s independent foreign policies, and that “the relationships pursued by India and China with other countries must not become a source of concern for each other,” according to the Times.
The longstanding border conflict between the two nations flared up again in April, with India alleging that Chinese forces illicitly crossed into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
China and India fought a brief war over demarcating the border in 1962, and there have been lingering tensions between the two Asian giants since then.
Indian officials expressed satisfaction that China was willing to discuss Pakistan’s role in supporting terror, the Times of India reported
, with Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh declaring that the subject was put “squarely on the table” during discussions with Li.
Despite the problems, China is India’s largest training partner, according to the International Business Times, with bilateral trade topping $60 billion and expected to rise to $100 billion annually in the next two years.
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