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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

World

Beijing junks trespass row
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, April 24, 2013
First Published: 19:33 IST(24/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:34 IST(25/4/2013)

China on Wednesday again denied that its border troops had trespassed into Indian territory in Ladakh earlier this month.

India has taken the incident seriously and New Delhi had summoned the Chinese ambassador in India to lodge a protest as public outrage over the incursion ran high.

But Beijing has now denied the incident for the third consecutive day, reiterating that Chinese troops had never crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

"I also want to reiterate here that Chinese border troops are acting in strict compliance to bilateral agreements and conducting normal patrols on Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control. They have never crossed the line," foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said at the regular press briefing on Wednesday.

Hua said existing diplomatic mechanisms should be used to further bilateral relations between the two countries.

"The two sides should abide by the consensus which is the interest of both countries. The two sides should work together to properly resolve the border issue within the framework of existing mechanisms and create favourable conditions for the development of bilateral relations," Hua said.

She added there was a consultation mechanism on boundary issue.

"The two countries have open communication channels," she said.

Reports in India have said the incident of incursion could cast a shadow on the impending high-level bilateral visits; the bilateral visits planned include that of both country's Prime Ministers and that of the Indian defence minister's to China.

It was learnt that officials in Beijing feel that there was no "explicit'' impact yet between the incident and the planned bilateral visits. But the fact that reports from India indicated a possible impact reflected that thinking in some official quarters.

It is also being felt in Beijing that the Chinese foreign ministry's emphatic statements on Monday, denying the incursion and saying that the reports were speculation by the Indian media, could have heightened the tension instead of defusing it.

"China's frontier troops have been abiding by the agreement between the two countries and abiding by the LAC agreed by the two countries. Our frontier troops have been patrolling on the China's side of LAC," Hua had said on Monday.

On Tuesday, the tone was softer with Hua saying that both India and China need to "create good conditions for the sound development of bilateral relations."

Diplomatic sources said there was hope that the situation would be settled amicably and soon.


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