New Delhi: Settlement of the border issue is "critical" for India-China ties, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said today, as he called for a "larger plan" for "tackling" that country to resolve all ticklish matters.
Doval also said that while India's relations with China "are looking up" there was a need to remain at a "very very high alert".
Speaking at the annual K F Rustamji lecture, Doval, who leads the Indian side at the talks of Special Representatives with China, also dwelt on China's emergence as world's economic power and its relations with Pakistan.
The event is organised by the BSF in memory of Rustamji, the founder Director General of of the force who retired in late 1960's but was reemployed as first Special Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs. He is the only police officer who has been awarded Padma Vibushan, the country's second highest civilian award.
Doval, a former Intelligence Bureau Chief, said "...we might have to see China border in a different way once the boundary is settled....
"We have got a very long border we have got 3,488-km long border, a very difficult and mountainous terrain snow-clad...
now for the bilateral relations with China, border is the critical and vital issue," he said speaking on the topic 'Challenges of Securing India?s Borders; Strategising the Response?.
He said all advancement made in the "relationship" with China gets centred around and becomes important on settlement of the border.
Doval said while the bilateral relations with China "are looking up" there was a need to remain at a "very very high alert".
"We are particularly concerned about the Eastern sector where the claims have been made on Tawang(in Arunachal Pradesh) which is totally in contravention of accepted principles," Doval said and expressed surprise that while McMahon line was agreed till Burma by China, the same was not accepted thereafter.
The line is named after Sir Henry McMahon, foreign secretary of the British-run Government of India and the chief negotiator of settling disputes with China in 1914.
"The fact is there is settled population in these areas particularly in Tawang and other areas which have been participating in the national mainstream all through.
"So, these are the ticklish issues. But these ticklish issues have to be talked about, deliberated and worked out, he said, adding there was a need for working out a "larger plan for tackling China".
The comments by Doval came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to China asked Beijing to "reconsider its approach on some issues that hold us back", an apparent reference to the long-pending boundary issue.