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India rejects China's claim over Sikkim province

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 04, 2008 23:29 IST
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On the eve of Foreign Ministerial talks, India on Wednesday virtually rejected China's claim over a small part of Sikkim, saying the state's boundary issue has been settled.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said the recent Chinese claim over the 'finger area' in Sikkim border would be discussed at the talks between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Thursday.

"I think, we will discuss peace and tranquility along the entire line, including where the boundary is settled. In the Sikkim sector, the boundary is actually settled between the two of us (India and China)," Menon told a TV channel, when asked whether the 'finger area' issue will figure in talks.

China recently laid claim over the 'finger area', asking India to dismantle a pile of stones there.

The two sides will discuss ways to 'manage' the border together, Menon said.

"The border is basically peaceful. Peace and tranquility has been maintained along the boundary, along the border and along the LAC for several years now," he said.

He said the Chinese side is expected to raise the Tibet matter during the bilateral talks as it has been a "sensitive issue in the last few months."

"We will discuss Tibet as well, but there is no change in our position. Our position remains the same," the foreign secretary said.

India has been maintaining that the Tibetan Autonomous Region is a part of the Peoples' Republic of China.

India, which is home to the Tibetan government-in-exile, saw widespread protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet during the Olympic Torch run in Delhi.

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