by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) March 1, 2012
China's foreign minister held talks in India on Thursday that focused on issues affecting the neighbours' often troubled ties as well as an upcoming summit of major emerging economies.
Yang Jiechi, who arrived in New Delhi late Wednesday, kicked off his brief official visit with a round of discussions with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna.
The talks covered preparations for a summit of the so-called BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- in New Delhi at the end of March, said foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.
Brazil, India and South Africa have been lobbying to turn their growing economic clout into greater diplomatic influence by securing permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
After their talks, Krishna said "every possible issue" pertaining to China-India relations had been discussed.
"We have understood each other's position and we have understood the perspective and we will continue to exchange these," he added without elaborating.
Ties between the neighbours have never been easy and a border dispute which triggered a brief but bloody war in 1962 remains a source of tension and deep mistrust.
Fifteen rounds of talks on the border issue have yielded no progress and India fears China is becoming more assertive about its territorial claims.
China claims the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and criticised a recent visit there by Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony as provocative.
Krishna retorted at the time that India "will not tolerate external interference of China into Indian territorial affairs".
On Thursday, local officials in Arunachal claimed that water levels in the local Brahmaputra river that originates in Tibet had plunged, leading to suspicion that China was to blame.
There are also tensions outside their common borders, especially in resource-rich areas such as the South China Sea, where both countries are engaged in energy exploration to fuel their growing economies.
Another irritant for China is the presence of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
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Brasilia, Brazil (UPI) Feb 29, 2012
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