Beijing: China's former pointsman for India Dai Bingguo said that an exchange of land, with the politically and strategically sensitive Tawang tract in Arunachal Pradesh being ceded by India, might pave the way for a settlement of the India-China boundary dispute.
According to a report in 'The Times of India', The suggestion came in an interview given by the former Chinese diplomat and high-ranking communist cadre to a Beijing-based publication. Dai Bingguo headed the special representative dialogue with India for over a decade until his retirement in 2013.
Though the exchange of Tawang is far from being a simple affair given the presence of the Tawang monastery, which commands a special place in Tibetan Buddhism and is highly regarded by Buddhists in India as well, Dai's remarks are significant as they may not be completely without official sanction.Dai is still regarded close to Chinese rulers, and his voice is taken seriously in the diplomatic community. He is unlikely to make sensitive comments in an interview unless it has been cleared by top leaders of the Communist Party, sources said.
"The major reason the boundary question persists is that China's reasonable requests have not been met," Dai said in the interview, adding, "If the Indian side takes care of China's concerns on the eastern section of the border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India's concerns elsewhere."