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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

'Face-offs between Indian, Chinese troops can occur'

PTI  New Delhi, December 16, 2013
First Published: 12:20 IST(16/12/2013) | Last Updated: 12:36 IST(16/12/2013)

Not ruling out the possibility of incidents such as face-offs between their troops, defence minister AK Antony today said India and China have now decided to resolve such issues amicably through the existing mechanisms.

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On the incident where five Indian nationals were apprehended by Chinese troops inside Indian territory, he said the Indians apprehended by PLA troops were civilians and not Army personnel and the matter was resolved amicably.

"Now our decision is to maintain peace and tranquility. Whenever any incident takes place, that possibility cannot be ruled out as the boundary is very long....both sides should come together and resolve its amicably," the Defence Minister said.

He was asked to comment on the situation along the Line of Actual Control in the sidelines of the Vijay Diwas to mark Indian victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

On the boundary talks with China, the minister said the country should not "expect miracles" in these parleys.

"Don't expect miracles in resolving the issue. What we are trying is that till a satisfactory solution on boundary issue is found, whenever incidents take place on border, through discussions and official mnechanism, resolve those issues. Of late, we have been able to resolve the issues without much delays. That is an improvement," he said.

On the impact of the newly-signed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, he said, "After the agreement, by and large, whenever any issue arises, we are able to resolve it as quickly as possible. It does not mean that there would not be any issues as long as the India-China border issue is unsettled, there can always be possibility..."

He said during his and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China, both the countries had decided to mantain peace and tranquility along the LAC.

"We have been able to take a decision, till we find a peaceful solution to the boundary issue, " he said.

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