Ashok Tuteja, Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 28 India and China are learnt to be in touch to reschedule the 15th round of boundary talks between their special representatives (SRs).
China today made conciliatory noises, three days after the boundary talks were postponed when Beijing sought the cancellation of an address by the Dalai Lama to a global Buddhist conference under way here but New Delhi had refused to do so.
“China pays great attention to the 15th meeting of special representatives on the India-China boundary issue. At the moment, the two sides are in communication on a specific date for the meeting,’’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying.
Asked if China had pressed India to cancel the Buddhist conference since the Tibetan spiritual leader would be addressing it on Wednesday, the Chinese spokesman said, “I want to point out that the Dalai Lama is not purely a religious figure, but the one who has been engaged in separatist activities for a long time under the pretext of religion.”
He went on to add that Beijing opposed any country providing a platform to the Dalai Lama for his ‘anti-China’ activities.
Official sources here said the two countries were exploring the possibility of holding the boundary talks before the year-end. They were also working at ensuring that their latest face-off didn’t affect the scheduled talks between the two defence secretaries on December 8-9.
New Delhi is hopeful of hosting Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), after the successful conclusion of the boundary talks between the two SRs – National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo.