The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Beijing beckons border brigade

New Delhi, Oct. 24: The two-day border talks between the special representatives of India and China ended today under a veil of circumspection.

“The meeting was held in a cordial, constructive and cooperative atmosphere,” the regulation official statement said.

The only outcome meant for public consumption was an agreement to continue the negotiations and hold the next meeting at convenient dates in Beijing.

“The success of the talks lies in keeping it a secret,” a senior foreign ministry official said. “It is a process which has begun. But it will not be completed overnight.”

Though the two sides were wary of saying more, the significance of the talks between Chinese senior vice-foreign minister Dai Bingguo and Indian national security adviser Brajesh Mishra lay in the gestures and the signals that emanated from the two capitals.

Days after completing its first naval exercises with trusted ally Pakistan, the Chinese leadership has welcomed the 12-point package proposed by Delhi to normalise relations with Islamabad. Unlike the Pervez Musharraf regime, Beijing has not made any mention of restarting the dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.

The Indian decision to conduct a military exercise on the eastern front, though noted by China, does not appear to have ruffled feathers. At least, there is nothing to suggest at this juncture that it has.

After the meeting with Mishra, Dai today called on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and foreign minister Yashwant Sinha.

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