Border talks with China on cards

 

Officials from Nepal and China will hold border talks in Lhasa on Saturday and Sunday. The talks will deal with the entire gamut of problems.

Kishor Lama, Additional Inspector General of Armed Police Force, will lead the 21-member Nepali delegation comprising officials of Nepal Police, National Investigation Department, Home Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials and CDOs of adjoining border districts.

China had proposed setting up a high-level mechanism to look after border security and management in February, but Nepal wanted such a mechanism formed at the CDO level in the bordering districts of the two countries. No decision has been taken so far. "The Chinese intention at that time (February) was to form such a mechanism at the ministerial or secretarial level, similar to the arrangement between Nepal and India. But, we are considering setting up the mechanism at the CDO level at first and later upgrading it to the secretary level," said a Home Ministry official.

Responding to the February visit of Chinese military officials, the upcoming meeting will focus on a dozen issues. Nepal will raise the issue of illegal immigrants from Tibet--who mostly enter Nepal from the Tatopani entry point--which is posing security threat to both sides. Cross-border crime is also a priority agenda, said an official. The smuggling of arms from China to Nepal is another prime concern for Nepal. For the first time, the issue of fake currency will also be discussed, the official said. Similarly, promotion of bilateral trade, control of human trafficking, and easy access to essential commodities for the northern belt of Nepal via the Chinese route will figure in the talks.

According to officials, China may again raise the issue of Extradition Treaty with Nepal, which it had raised last February.

The meeting is the seventh in the series of Third Joint Committee talks that will digitise the existing boundary with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to survey markers and the Geographical Information System (GIS) to draft a new boundary agreement.

Nepal and China had signed the first protocol of boundary maps in 1962 and the second protocol in 1978. Survey officials from both countries had prepared 57 sheets of digital maps of the 1,414 km-long border with 98 boundary pillars and 79 markers.

Nepal and China have demarcated the boundary maps except for Kalapani, which is a juncture of Nepal, China and India. There are some boundary disputes in Kimathanka of Solukhumbu district but local officials hadn't apprised the centre of the problem due to lack of proper boundary maps.

Although both countries had agreed to review the boundary maps every 10 years, they have not done so after 1988.

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