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NSA call settled China pullout issue

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 10, 2013
First Published: 00:01 IST(10/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(10/5/2013)

National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and China's chief negotiator for the boundary dispute, Yang Jiechi, met last Sunday for talks that senior sources say helped clinch the resolution to the prolonged standoff in Ladakh.


Soon after the two spoke, Chinese troops began their pullout.

New Delhi remains unclear as to what led Beijing to order Chinese troops to intrude 19 km into the Daulet Beg Oldi plateau, an area which China does not even lay claim to. India hopes that an explanation will be provided during the foreign minister Salman Khurshid's on-going visit to China.

A "benign" explanation of what took place is that China wanted to use the intrusion to push India to move forward on the deadlocked border negotiations. "Like many great powers, China has no idea of how smaller countries react to their actions," said a source.

When the newly anointed Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Durban for the first time he had spoken of wanting to move quickly to a "framework agreement on the border." The intrusion may have been a ham-handed way to get India to move on a draft border defence cooperation agreement that Beijing had given New Delhi on March.

Beijing was caught by surprise by the degree of public anger in India - in the media, Parliament and other public spheres - over the intrusion. Beijing was notably careful to keep the entire affair out of their media, until it was over.

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