New Delhi: India has named its powerful National Security Adviser as a special envoy on China, opening the way for resumption of talks on the disputed border, where tensions have risen in recent months over border patrols and stiffer defences.
Ajit Doval, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will lead the negotiations with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi to try and reach a settlement on dispute over the 3,500-km border that has clouded rapidly-expanding commercial links.
In September, the two armies were locked in a faceoff in the Ladakh sector in the western Himalayas just as Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting India for the first summit talks with Prime Minister Modi.
Both leaders vowed to work together to resolve the border row that has defied a solution even after 17 rounds of high level talks over the last decade.
Mr Doval, seen as a hardliner on national security issues, will conduct boundary negotiations as well as strategic consultations with China, the PM's office said in a statement
Chinese border patrols have been intruding deeper into India's side of the border, in a sign of assertiveness that has fuelled concern in the region.
China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 square km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.
New Delhi has vowed to beef up defences along the border to narrow the gap with China's network of roads and communication links. Beijing has expressed concern about India's plan to build roads and border outposts in Arunachal Pradesh in the east.
© Thomson Reuters 2014