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China, India Resolving Sikkim Dispute

China has taken the first step toward recognizing the Himalayan territory of Sikkim as a part of India, resolving a long-standing border dispute, an Indian Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday. Sikkim, located between Nepal and the kingdom of Bhutan, was an independent principality before it was annexed by India in 1975. China never recognized Sikkim as an Indian possession and has claimed part of the territory as its own. This week however China removed Sikkim from its Web site list of recognized countries and regions, a move toward officially recognizing the area as part of India, said India’s Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal. China informed India of the move Wednesday at a Southeast Asian summit in Bali. “It is a confidence-building measure,” Sibal said. “China was the only country to not recognize that Sikkim was part of India. This is an important step.” Border disagreements have long embittered relations between India and China, leading in 1962 to a brief war. Full Story

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