New Delhi: Ahead of the 18th round of Special Representative Boundary talks between India and China, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Munich on the sidelines of a international security conference and discussed steps to deepen the bilateral cooperation.
China asked India to sign a new Code of Conduct on Border management to which the latter said it was open to the idea. China has called for pushing forward talks to resolve the border issue and remove "disturbances" in bilateral ties.
The meeting assumes significance as it takes place ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to China in May.
Both nations are likely to discuss the possibility of a new Code of Conduct on Border Management. Sources said that while the two counties are keen on signing it, India does not want a replica of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in 2013.
The Chinese official proposed to respect and look after each other's concerns, to push forward negotiations over boundaries and to effectively maintain the peace and safety of border areas, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The two officials are due to hold the 18th round of border talks later this month to take the process of resolving the boundary further. It will be the first meeting of the Sino-Indian border talks by Doval after he was designated as Special Representative.
Their meeting at Munich followed recent visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during which she held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to make preparations for PM Modi's first visit to China before May 26.
Calling for more high level interactions with India, Yang whose rank is above that of foreign minister said both sides "should seize the opportunities, remove the disturbances, and strengthen the positive trend of China-India relations".
He said cooperation, including those in culture, railway and industrial parks construction, should be broadened.
Yang also said China and India should enhance cooperation in international affairs, promoting multipolarism and protecting common interests of developing countries.
Doval, for his part, said the bilateral relations between India and China have improved since the new Indian government was formed.
As the two fastest growing developing countries in the world and Asian fellows, India and China face a number of mutually beneficial cooperation opportunities.
India is willing to enhance cooperation with China in various areas, to jointly boost economic sustainable growth, as well as to maintain peace and stability of the region, Doval was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
India is expected to intensify coordination with China and keep pushing forward the process of negotiations over boundary issue, the report said.
Chinese position is that the border dispute is confined to 2,000 kms mostly on Arunachal Pradesh, whereas India asserts that the dispute covered the western side of the border, spanning to about 4,000 kms.
The two countries have held 17 rounds of Special Representative talks so far to resolve the boundary dispute. The issue also figured during talks between Modi and Xi during his historic visit to India in September last year.
The two leaders had agreed to make efforts to resolve the border dispute at the earliest.
(With additional inputs from PTI)