Beijing: China on Friday said it was ready to "break new ground" with India to resolve the boundary dispute as the Special Representatives of the two countries held 16th round of border talks to find a solution to the vexed issue.

"I stand ready to work with you to build on the work of our predecessors and break new ground to strive for the settlement of the China-India boundary question and to make greater progress in the China-India strategic cooperative partnership in the new period," newly appointed Chinese Special Representative Yang Jiechi said.

This is the first meeting of the border talks after the new leadership took over in China in March.

India asserts that the dispute covered about 4,000 km, while China claims that it confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.

"First of all let me warmly welcome you (India’s Special Representative Shivshankar Menon) to come to China for the 16th round of the Special Representatives meeting on the China-India boundary question," he said, stating that "over the years you have made important contribution to the growth of China-India relations in various capacities."

"You and I have known each other for a long time. We are very familiar with each other and established a good working relationship and personal friendship," Yang said.

"The China-India relationship has developed good momentum of development. The Special Representatives meeting is an important exchange and cooperation mechanism between our two countries," he said.

On his part, Shivshankar Menon expressed his pleasure to hold talks with Yang. "You are an old friend and in India you are known for your various contributions you have made to the positive development of our bilateral relations," Menon said.

"As you have said we are meeting at a moment when India- China relations have achieved a momentum and are moving in the right direction. It is our conviction that we are at a moment of strategic opportunity for this relationship," Menon said.

During his two-day stay in Beijing, Menon is due to meet Premier Li and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The border talks are currently in second stage of the three stage process.

(Agencies)

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