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India, China hold talks on trans-border rivers

29 March 2018

Asked about the infrastructural projects initiated by China in India's neighbourhood to geostrategically counter India, Bambawale said I don't think we are concerned about China's projects with any third country.

In an interview to Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, Bambawale said any attempt to change the status quo in Doklam would lead to another stand-off.

A team of officials of India's Ministry of Water Resources held talks with their Chinese counterparts on the cooperation of trans-border rivers, the first after Beijing a year ago stopped providing the data on the flow of Brahmaputra waters.

China on Monday asserted that Doklam belongs to it and India should have "learnt lessons" from the stand-off a year ago, after India's envoy blamed China for the face-off, saying it happened because Beijing tried to alter the "status quo" in the disputed area.

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She was referring to the comments made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who had said in his annual press conference on 8 March that both the countries leaders have agreed to "strategic vision" to solve the Dokhlam standoff. "Those are the things you're free to do and we are also free to do, because you're doing it inside your territory and we are doing it inside our territory".

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from June 16 previous year after India stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Good and smooth China-India trade relations are not only beneficial for the economies of the two countries but may also help in mending the other differences between the two countries and improving the political environment in this part of Asia.

The agreements come after a meeting between visiting Chinese commerce minister Zhong Shan and his Indian counterpart Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi on Monday, with both ministers raising issues relating to more trade and addressing trade imbalances.

Zhong said "candid and effective" discussions with India on trade relations can serve as the propeller for the growth not just of the two countries but the entire region.

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"China is committed to resolving the disputes through negotiations".

Officials from both sides met in Hangzhou, China for two days of talks ending Tuesday, and 'reviewed their continued cooperation on provision of hydrological information and emergency management in respect of trans-border rivers, ' the Indian Embassy in Beijing said.

According to officials, the data shared by upper riparian state, China, to lower riparian states, India and Bangladesh is essential every monsoon to allow anticipation of the flow of the water and take necessary measures to deal with flooding in India's north eastern states.

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India, China hold talks on trans-border rivers