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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
India and China hold more talks
JN Dixit and Dai Bingguo
Both sides are looking for a compromise
India and China have held two days of talks in Delhi on their long-running border dispute.

Indian national security adviser JN Dixit and his Chinese counterpart, Dai Bingguo, led discussions, details of which were not available.

It is the third round of talks in just over a year, but the first since the new Indian government took power.

The two countries fought a bitter war over their mostly unmarked border in 1962.

The latest talks were held in a "friendly, constructive and co-operative atmosphere", India's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Mr Bingguo met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and gave him a letter from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the statement said, but did not mention its contents.

The two sides had agreed to hold further talks in Beijing at a later date, the statement added.

'Compromise'

Both sides claim the other is occupying parts of its land.

While India accuses China of occupying territory in Kashmir, Beijing lays claim to territory in the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Analysts say the talks are about demarcating the 3,500km (2,200 mile)-long border between the two countries.

"Essentially the two sides are ready for compromise. What would be the nature of a compromise has not been decided," analyst Sujit Dutta told Reuters.

Indian officials have played down any expectation of a breakthrough.

But reports suggest that the two sides may be coming to some kind of an agreement.

Overcoming differences

Last year India formally recognised the area known as the Tibetan autonomous region as part of the People's Republic of China.

China, for its part, agreed to start border trade through the north-east Indian state of Sikkim - a move that was seen as an acceptance by Beijing of India's claim over that area.

The agreements came during a visit by the former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to China.

The Tibet and Sikkim agreements were part of a declaration signed by India and China aimed at solving their border disputes.

Fifteen rounds of talks since the 1980s have failed to resolve India and China's boundary disagreements.




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