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India, China to speed up border dispute talks
Updated: 2005-12-16 07:00

India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometres (14,670 square miles) of Indian territory in Kashmir while Beijing claims that the 90,000-square-kilometre Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to China.

Ties have been warming in recent years with an exchange of high-level visits and joint military exercises. Trade reached 13.6 billion dollars in 2004 and is targeted to hit 30 billion dollars by 2010.

Work is under way to reopen a section of the traditional Silk Road next month at Nathu La pass on the border between India's Sikkim and China's Tibet. It would be the first direct trade link since the 1962 border conflict.

In April, both sides signed an agreement aimed at helping special representatives -- named by India and China in 2003 -- to negotiate territorial claims as experts delineated the boundary on a map and on the ground.

The special envoys -- India's National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and China's Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo -- held talks in Beijing in September but without any apparent progress on the dispute.

Singh said another round of talks is scheduled to take place in New Delhi next month.

"Another meeting is planned in January. Both of us (Wen and Singh) agreed that these... negotiations should be expedited and both of us expressed our commitment to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the border issue," he said.


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