Hopes to reduce differences with China:Krishna

Singapore: With "differences" persisting with China over the boundary issue, India today said the newly-introduced working mechanism between the two countries would help in "minimising" or "bridging" them.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna stated this at a seminar organised here by the Institute of South Asian Studies, three days after India and China operationalised the agreement on the border coordination mechanism by framing mutually agreed rules to avert conflict at their frontier.

The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs was formed during the 15th round of border talks in New Delhi in January to avoid any untoward incidents between the troops on ground while patrolling the various points.

"China… is a priority in India`s foreign policy. We have attempted to establish a strategic and cooperative partnership with China… China has emerged as the largest trading partner of India, and our engagement with China is now multi-faceted." Krishna said.

Naturally, as between any two large countries, there are "areas of convergence as well as fields of divergence" between the two nations, he said.

"We will continue to engage China in a constructive and forward looking manner so that both countries can achieve a win-win situation," Krishna said.

On the border issue, Krishna said "it is true that there are some differences between our countries such as on the boundary question. Here we will maintain dialogue with China with the objective of minimising such differences or bridging them."

There are differences with China but overall the border is "tranquil and balanced," he said.

Informed sources had earlier said there were no discussions between headquarters — Delhi and Beijing – on a particular incident or particular situation on the boundary and the working mechanism was going to collect that information.