05:11 GMT09 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Ahead of the second informal summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Indian Army has indicated that both countries having a loosely demarcated border, measuring around 4,057 km, and have been moving in the right direction to sign an agreement on vexed border issues.

    Lt. Gen. M M Naravane - designated Vice Chief of the Indian Army - on Friday said efforts to resolve border disputes intensified, and with each round of talks, "differences keep getting narrowed down".

    The second informal summit is expected to be held in October this year between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    "With every round of talks on the vexed LAC issue, the differences keep getting narrowed down. Hopefully, at some point, all interests will converge, and we will be able to sign an agreement formally," Naravane said while speaking to media persons on the occasions of the Kargil Victory Day in Kolkata on Friday.

    Naravane will assume charge of the vice chief of army skirt to fix any timeframes to resolve the issue which has been lingering for the last seven decades.

    "We are in the 23rd or 24th round of talks, putting a time frame to it is difficult. The sooner the (LAC) issue is resolved, the sooner the two large Asian neighbours can get past these obstacles to move onto the path of progress," Naravane emphasised.

    The statement came two days after Chinese military said: "It strives to promote stability and security along the border with India, and has taken effective measures to create favourable conditions for the peaceful resolution of the Donglang (Doklam) standoff."

    The statement holds much importance ahead of the second informal summit, which is expected anytime in October this year.

    Modi and Xi, after the first informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018, had asked the Special Representatives on the India China Boundary Question to "intensify efforts to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement."

    Sputnik had earlier reported that the two countries might settle the middle sector of the border (Himachal Pradesh to Sikkim) first, where the dispute seems minor compared to those in western and eastern sectors.

     The two Asian leaders had also issued "strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs".

    The strategic guidance was issued after the bitter 2017 border standoff in Doklam which extended for 73 days and saw the destruction of the army bunker by China's People's Liberation Army near the trijunction of India, China and Bhutan.

    Doklam separates the three countries, and the issue was considered settled for over 60 years between Bhutan and China. India accused China of attempting to change this status quo by laying concrete roads at Doklam which is close to India's "Chicken Corridor"- Siliguri, which connects northeastern states with the mainland.


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