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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

World

We didn’t provoke border issue: China
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, April 25, 2013
First Published: 14:50 IST(25/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:07 IST(26/4/2013)

China on Thursday said that it did not provoke any confrontation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, reiterating that its troops have always acted in compliance with relevant treaties.

Reacting to allegations that China was escalating tension in the border areas, foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said she did not agree with the accusation that it was Chinese soldiers who breached the agreed boundary.

She said that the media – presumably the Indian media as the Chinese media has hardly reported on the issue – could "keep patience and create favourable conditions for two countries to solve this issue."

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday he would visit China on May 9 amid high tensions between the neighbours due to a flare-up at their disputed border.

"I believe we have a mutual interest and we should not destroy years of contribution we have put together," he told reporters on the sidelines of a business event.

"I think it is a good thing that we are having a dialogue."

It was unclear if the trip was part of scheduled preparations for a visit by the newly installed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India next month, but it comes at a time of rising friction between the neighbours.

India has requested for a third flag meeting, the date of which would be communicated by Beijing earliest by Thursday.

The minister also expressed confidence that India and China will be able to resolve the situation arising after the incursion in Indian territory by Chinese forces.

Hua directly denied answering a question whether China wanted India to remove certain fortifications at the border which Indian troops had reportedly put up in the last few months.

"Since I am not at the frontier, I do not know about the latest development in the frontier," Hua said.

Interestingly, earlier during the briefing, she said that China was not the one to have provoked the stand-off.

"I do not agree with the allegation that it was the Chinese side who provoked confrontation between border troops. In the past three days I have repeatedly stressed the point and now I will like to reiterate that Chinese troops have always acted in strict compliance to relevant treaties and protocol between two the countries regarding the protection of peace and security of areas along LAC and are committed to protecting peace and stability of border areas as well as negotiate the settlement of the boundary issue left over from history," she said.

Hua said because the long boundary between the two vast countries was not demarcated yet, problems were bound to arise.

"With the boundary not demarcated yet, it was inevitable that problems would to crop up in border areas," the spokesperson said, adding: "When there is a problem in border areas the two sides should resolve it through friendly consultation through existing mechanism and channels."

"We believe this incident can also be properly handled and will not affect peace and stability of border areas as well as normal development of China-India relations," Hua said.

"I just want to tell you is that the current situation in border areas is peaceful and stable. Both China and India have willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations. We also believe the two sides should continue to solve the issue in a friendly manner and we will not let this issue affect border peace and security as well as normal development of China-India relations," Hua said.


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