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Dalai Lama row: Indo-China border talks cancelled

Beijing has expressed concerns that the four-day congregation for the Dalai Lama's speech scheduled to take place in Delhi, that is being supported by India's foreign ministry and is expected to be attended by over 900 delegates from 46 countries, could be used for "political activities".

This demand has led to the postponement of India-China border talks scheduled for Monday. China is said to have called off the 15th round of the talks between Special Representatives of both the sides after India refused to accept their demand that the congregation, which was to be addressed by the Tibetan spiritual leader, be called off.

The Dalai Lama is to address the valedictory function of the four-day Global Buddhist Congregation, co-organised by the Public Diplomacy division of the external affairs ministry, on Wednesday. India reiterated to China that the congregation was of a religious nature and not a political event and it therefore cannot cancel it.

However, there was no official word on the reason for the postponement of the 15th round of talks between Special Representatives, with the Chinese embassy too refusing to comment.

Chinese Special Representative Dai Bingguo was to travel to Delhi for talks with his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon to follow up on their talks in the 14th round in Beijing in November last year.

Dai and Menon were expected to discuss putting in place a mechanism for border management mooted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to India last year. A decision to set up the mechanism was taken at a meeting Wen had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sanya in April.

 

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