Sunday, 27 November 2011

India and China cancel border talks


India and China have cancelled sensitive border talks to avoid an embarrassing clash with a Buddhist conference in Delhi attended by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, according to the Indian
government.

The two Asian powers were scheduled to start on Monday the next round in long-running talks to resolve a border dispute over Anunachal Pradesh,  the Indian state which China claims as south Tibet. Dai Bingguo, China’s top foreign policy official, was to travel to the Indian capital for discussions with Shivshankar Menon, India’s national secury adviser.
But the talks would have coincided with a meeting of religious leaders and scholars from 32 countries at the Global Buddhist Congregation 2011 which starts on Sunday. The Dalai Lama, who China vilifies, is expected to speak at the closing event on Wednesday.

Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, and Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, last year agreed to reinvigorate efforts to resolve disagreement over the colonial-era McMahon Line that separates India and Tibet. The two sides have fought over the border in the past, most recently in 1962 when China inflicted a humiliating defeat on India.

Beijing has refused to elaborate on the talks, saying only that China and India were in touch about dates for the next round. India’s foreign ministry said that it was still “looking forward” to the border talks and was seeking alternative dates. A representative of the Dalai Lama said China had leant on New Delhi to prevent the spiritual leader speaking at the Buddhist conference.

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