China wants to ‘keep alive’ border dispute, parliamentary panel

China seems to be interested in keeping alive the boundary dispute with India, a parliamentary panel has said. An overarching “border engagement agreement” should be concluded between the armies of the two counties, it has suggested.

The panel, headed by former Minister of State for External Affairs and Congress MP Sashi Tharoor, said: “It is difficult for the committee to escape the perception that China sees it as being in its interests to keep the (boundary) dispute alive indefinitely for the purpose of throwing India off-balance whenever it so desires.”

Till such time as a definitive solution can be negotiated, maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas is an important pre-requisite for the smooth progression of bilateral relations.

The committee said: “It would strongly desire that a comprehensive Border Engagement Agreement is concluded between the Indian Army and the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)”.

This, it says, should subsume all established mechanisms for confidence building, including border personnel meetings, flag meetings, meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs (WMCC) and other diplomatic channels.

Since Parliament is not in session, the panel presented the report “Sino-India relations, including Doklam, border situation…” to the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on September 4.

The committee requested “Direction 71A of the Directions by the Speaker” with the request to permit the printing, publication and circulation of the report under Rule 280 of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Lok Sabha. The report was made public on September 12.

It has suggested that baseless claims made by China on the limits of the boundary with India need to be fully exposed before the international community. These claims are devoid of any amount of credibility or justification.

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Source:- Tribune India

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