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India Vis a Vis to China

BEIJING: India and China will have to be "patient and realistic" in resolving the festering boundary dispute, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today, underscoring New Delhi's determination not to allow the differences to be an obstacle in enhancing bilateral ties.

"We will have to be patient and realistic", Mukherjee said in his speech at the prestigious Peking University while emphasising that both countries were mature enough to realise and address the "difficult issues" in the bilateral relationship.

"We need to resolve these differences through negotiations in a constructive and forward looking manner," the minister, who is on a four-day visit to the country, said.

Noting that the boundary between the two countries was peaceful and "we are determined to keep it so", Mukherjee said both had evolved mechanisms and gained experience to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The two countries had agreed on a set of Political Parameters and Guiding Principles to find a mutually satisfactory solution.

Mukherjee, during talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Thursday, raised the issue of Beijing's recent claim over the 'finger area' in Sikkim border, while both sides "emphasised their determination to maintain peace and tranquillity along border and not to disturb the status quo".

Explaining the contours of India's foreign policy to the faculty and students, Mukherjee said India guards its strategic autonomy and stands by the principles of independence and freedom of action in external relations.