After Russia visit, PM eyes India-China border pact

manmohan singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is leaving for Beijing on Tuesday morning on the second – and the challenging part of his two-nation visit – to seal a new border management pact and ask China to walk the talk on reducing the burgeoning trade deficit between the two countries.

Singh’s visit is counted as historic because this is the first time since 1954 that prime ministers of the two countries would travel to each other’s country in the same year.

“It is of great importance to deepen China-India strategic partnership as the visit follows the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in May,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had announced in Beijing on Monday.

 Singh will reach Beijing late Tuesday evening and will have two banquets hosted by both Premier Li and President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

Among the pacts expected to be signed during the visit is the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), the draft of which was cleared by the Indian cabinet.

The BDCA involves setting up a hotline between commanders at tactical level and more frequent meetings. It would also have provisions restraining security forces on both sides from not following the other in case of inadvertent crossing due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

It is perceived as a major confidence-building measure by both countries, which had to grapple in 2013 with a series of Chinese incursions along the LAC that triggered serious tensions….

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