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Border issue won't affect India-China ties


Updated: December 18, 2009, 8:07 PM IST
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Border issue won't affect India-China ties
Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao met at Copenhagen Climate Summit.

Copenhagen: The leaders of India and China reiterated on Friday that outstanding issues between them would be solved through dialogue and meanwhile "peace and tranquility" would be maintained along their disputed border.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, meeting over breakfast on the sidelines of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, reiterated that there must be "peace and prosperity in both India and China for otherwise the 21st century would not be an Asian century", Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.

Briefing the media on the proceedings of the 30-minute meeting, Rao said: "Premier Wen assured that China has no interest in interfering in the internal affairs of South Asia".

Both leaders said they were very happy about cooperation between BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) countries over the climate change issue, "because we have to work together".

The cooperation was in evidence the same day at the December 7-18 climate summit, when the leaders of all four countries made nearly identical speeches on how to tackle climate change.

Manmohan Singh and Wen had decided that India and China would jointly oppose attempts by rich countries to hinder their development in the name of fighting climate change, said an official who was present.

China was particularly upset about a so-called "umbrella paragraph" of the political declaration that has been drafted to come out of the summit, according to an Indian official. The declaration was scheduled for release later in the day by the 130-odd heads of state gathered here

The paragraph, which was introduced in the political declaration draft by the 'umbrella' group of countries - US, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand - reportedly said emerging economies like India and China must indicate when their greenhouse gas emissions would peak and must make their domestic actions to control emissions "measurable, reportable and verifiable" by the international community.

These were points that had been opposed repeatedly by India and China throughout this summit and earlier, and the "last minute attempt to introduce it again" would be opposed by both countries "at the highest level", an Indian official said.

The prime minister did not have any other bilateral meeting planned, and was scheduled to leave Copenhagen early evening. Apart from attending the plenary sessions, his agenda included a lunch for heads of state hosted by the prime minister of Denmark, and a joint photo op.

First Published: December 18, 2009, 8:07 PM IST
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