Mutual tensions at high, India-China reach understanding on border talks

Dai Bingguo

India asserts that the dispute covered about 4,000 km, while China claims that it is confined to about 2000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers to as Southern Tibet.

Menon, who also met Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday, wound up his visit today after calling on Wu Bangguo, the number two in the outgoing leadership of the ruling Communist Party, ranked next to President Hu Jintao.

His meeting with Wu, also the Chairman of China's national legislature, the National People's Congress, was an anti-climax as he had not met any members of the all-powerful new seven-member Standing Committee of the CPC.

Menon's visit was partly aimed at establishing contacts with the new leadership headed by CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Earlier, he was expected to meet Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is to replace Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Menon is the first foreign dignitary to visit China after the leadership change at the 18th Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China last month.

On his part, Menon said he was not disappointed.

"Not at all. I actually got bumped up. I got to meet the Chairman of the NPC," he said answering a question.

But at the same time, he said he extended a message from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to new CPC leader Xi, greeting him on his election.

Xi, in turn, conveyed a message back welcoming Singh's good wishes.

"We conveyed our message and they conveyed theirs. We expect this relationship to continue to develop and deepen. It is in our objective interest and theirs. Frankly it is a relationship which is getting important to the region and world," he said.

Menon also refuted a report in the Indian media that claimed the two sides were far from resolving the vexed issue, saying it was factually untrue, speculative and misleading.

... contd.

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