Chinese legislator moots border trade through Arunachal Pradesh

Beijing: China should promote trade with India through border areas, including Arunachal Pradesh, by involving local inhabitants that would reduce military confrontations between the two countries and improve bilateral relations, a Chinese legislator suggested.

 An Ran, a professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou of Guangdong Province, who is also a deputy of the country's parliament, National People's Congress, said China should allow residents in the border areas with India to trade to improve China-India relations, reduce military confrontations which would benefit the local inhabitants.

The proposal was based on field work conducted by a group of researchers from Yunnan University in Southwest China, state-run Global Times reported.

Yunnan Province borders the Tibet region, India, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Professor Guo Jianbin, the group's team leader, said his team visited Tibetan counties like Lhozhag, Lhunze in Shannan Prefecture and Medog and Zayu in the city of Nyingchi, closer to Arunachal Pradesh last year and found that residents in the border areas are not allowed to cross the McMahon Line freely.

However, in some areas, some residents, mainly those from the Lhoba ethnic minority group, have crossed the "McMahon Line, drawn by British in 1914 and visited the other side.

China do not recognise McMahon line, which India recognises as its boundary. It claims the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of Southern Tibet.

 The India-China border dispute stretches across 3,488 kms. Both sides have held several rounds of talks through their Special Representatives to resolve the issue.

 "We found that the villages in the border areas have wide roads and a clean environment. If China allows residents living on the other side to trade, all these achievements and developments will help better unite the residents in border areas," Guo said.

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the move could help deepen understanding between China and India.

RECOMMENDED STORIES