India and China have begun border talks amid a row over Chinese passports showing disputed territories as belonging to China - a move that has outraged India as well as other Asian countries.
The current round of Sino-Indian border talks is being held in Beijing. China recently began issuing passports which show a map indicating Arunachal Pradesh, parts of Jammu & Kashmir and disputed islands in the South China Sea as Chinese territory.
The move has strained China's bilateral relations not only with India but with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan, with many even reluctant to stamp the passports upon the arrival of Chinese nationals, fearing it would signal consent to the new map.
India reacted by issuing visas which had attached maps of their own to Chinese citizens.
The current series of Sino-Indian talks began in 2003 after former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed on a new paradigm to resolve boundary disputes between the two countries.
New Delhi alleges that Beijing is illegally occupying huge tracts of its territory in Jammu and Kashmir. Beijing also lays a claim on around 60,000 sq km of territory in the northeastern India state of Arunachal Pradesh which shares a border with Tibet.
Experts say that despite the diplomatic row, the talks are still significant, as they deal with a whole set of border issues.
"This round of talks is important because India will get a sense of the prospects of future talks under the new political leadership in Beijing," Alka Acharya, an associate professor of Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told DW.
But not many are hopeful about the outcome of the talks.
"I don't see any progress at all. In fact, China has hardened its stance. There have been more border incursions and an increased naval presence in the Indian Ocean from the Chinese side," former Indian Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh told DW.
"The new Chinese regime has already shown its true colors," an Indian army official told DW on conditions of anonymity. "There was an opportunity to resolve bilateral disputes and work towards a better future but the Chinese chose to be offensive and issued controversial passports."
Amitabh Mattoo, an International Relations expert, told DW that the new Chinese regime was likely to put forward a "hardline and uncompromising position" on border conflicts with its neighbors.