Border, Tibet to feature during Jiabao’s India visit today

Associated Press

New Delhi, April 8:

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is expected to bring up the sensitive issues of Tibet and a lingering border dispute during a four-day visit to India starting tomorrow aimed at boosting political and economic ties.

India and China share a mountainous, 1,030-km border, parts of which are not demarcated.

The two sides went to war over the border row in 1962, but hope to reach a consensus on how to settle the issue while Wen is in India, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told reporters in Beijing last week. But even if the dispute is not resolved straight away, “it does not keep us from engaging in cooperation in other fields,” Wu said.

Despite more than four decades of frosty relations, India also is pragmatic about ties — and rivalry — with its larger neighbour.

“There are many who look at India-China relations with the old mind-set of balance of power or conflict of interests and see East Asia as a theatre of competition between these two countries,” India’s External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh said.

“While there are differences between us, there is also an increasingly greater realisation that there is enough space and opportunity in the region for both India and China to prosper,” he said.

Wen will arrive in India from Sri Lanka tomorrow.

Tibetan stir on anvil

BANGALORE: Tibetan refugees living in India are planning to stage protests against Chinese rule of their homeland during a three-day visit by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, an official said on Friday.

Tenzin Tsundue, general secretary of the Friends of Tibet, an organisation comprising 4,000 Indian and Tibetan members, said the protests would be held in the southern city of Bangalore and New Delhi where Chinese Premier Wen is slated to visit. —AFP