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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Kong Quan's Remarks on the Political Guiding Principles for Solving the Border Issue between China and India

On April 12, shortly after accompanying Premier Wen Jiabao in his visit to four South Asia countries, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan briefed journalists on the background and main content of the political guiding principles reached by China and India on the settlement of the border issue.

Kong Quan said, in June, 2003, the Chinese and Indian prime ministers appointed special representatives to explore political guiding principles and framework on the settlement of the border issue. After five rounds of meetings, Chinese Special Representative, and Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo reached an agreement with his Indian counterpart, National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan on the political guiding principles for solving the issue. In the witness of the prime ministers of the two countries, the principles were formally signed on April 11.

The two sides agreed that it is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples to develop strategic cooperative partnership toward peace and prosperity on the basis of equality, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and accommodation to each other's concern and will. An early settlement of the issue that sets store by the overall and long-term interests of the two countries serves the basic interests of them and should therefore be pursued as a strategic objective.

The two sides agreed to work mainly under the following principles for the settlement of the border issue.

The border issue should be resolved through peaceful and friendly means, rather than resorting to force or threat of force. The two countries will work on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, proceed from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relations and seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the issue through consultations on an equal footing.

In the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, the two countries will make meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments on our respective claim on the issue, so as to find a package solution. We will take into consideration each other's strategic and reasonable interests and the principle of equal security for both.

We will take into account both sides' historical evidence, national sentiments, actual difficulties, legitimate concerns, sensitive factors and the actual conditions in border areas. The border should be demarcated along a distinctly-marked and conspicuous geographical feature agreed upon by both sides. All necessary interests and benefits of the residents of both countries living in the border area should be protected.

Pending the final settlement of the issue, the two sides should respect and conform to the line of actual control in real earnest, and make joint efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

Kong Quan said, the special representatives of the two countries will continue consultations in all seriousness, so as to come up with a framework that lays the foundation for future border survey and demarcation by the two sides.

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