Ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s impending visit and echoing upbeat Indian sentiment, a Chinese Foreign Ministry document said that there has been “progress” on the “boundary negotiations” and “border areas have remained peaceful and tranquil.” The annual “ China ’s Foreign Affairs 2006” document did not elaborate on what was meant by “progress” and how they measured their satisfaction. Significantly, this document comes ahead of the 8th round of border negotiations this week in New Delhi by special representatives — National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.
During the Chinese Premier Web Jiabao’s visit last year, both nations agreed to mark the “successful conclusion” of the 1st phase of negotiations that formed part of the “Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the China-India Boundary Question” signed in 2005. The boundary disagreement is expected to feature prominently during Jintao’s visit.
However, the report noted that bilateral relationship was upgraded to a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and that a growing level of friendly exchanges and cooperation has helped in “deepening mutual trust” that has “underscored the good momentum of political relations.” When Jiabao visited, both nations also agreed to set a target of USD 20 billion or more by 2008 for bilateral trade and also explore a China-India Regional Trade Agreement. The Report of China-India Joint Study Group on Comprehensive Trade and Economic Cooperation documents these developments and has served as a foundation for furthering bilateral relations