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China denies Ladakh incursion, says media speculated

world Updated: Apr 23, 2013 12:39 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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Accused by India that its border troops illegally crossed the line of actual control (LAC) in Ladakh earlier in April, China on Monday said that its army was abiding by the agreement between the two countries.

The LAC had not been trespassed by the Chinese military, the foreign ministry said, adding that the reports from India were speculation.

According to the reports, a platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector in Ladakh, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there.

The report incursions have also come at a time when the Prime Ministers of both countries are expected on visits in the next few months.

Indian defence ministry AK Antony is also expected in China in May.

Sensing the implications of the reports, foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, played down the incident, implying no such incursion had taken place.

"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 said at a media briefing, adding: "Our troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the LAC and have never trespassed the line."

"China's position is firm and clear. We have been abiding by the agreement of the two countries having normal patrol on Chinese side and never trespassed the LAC," she reiterated.

Hua added that not only was the border situation peaceful, current relations between Beijing and New Delhi were fine.

"We believe current India-China relations are in fine shape," she said

"We have maintained good communication and coordination on boundary issue. The border areas are in a peaceful condition. China is willing to properly solve boundary question based on peaceful negotiation and we will like to solve the boundary issue through proper mechanisms in order to create conditions for development of China-India relations," the official said.

When specifically asked why Chinese soldiers were making moves near the LAC despite good relations, she said there was much speculation about border issues in the Indian media.

"I noticed that some Indian officials made relevant remarks. Please refer to them", she said apparently pointing to the comments that different perceptions of the LAC existed and both sides made efforts to resolve it through established mechanism.

"China values its relations with India and would like to develop sound steady and long term relationship with India", she said.

"We believe relevant problem should be properly solved through negations in a peaceful manner. Relevant issue is left over from history. The current conditions at the border are peaceful and stable. What the two countries should do now is to pool consensus and sit down together for solution. There is no need for groundless speculation and suspicion," she said.

"We believe the current India-China relations have been in a advanced shape. We have maintained good communication and coordination on the boundary issue", she said.

Fifteen rounds of periodic talks headed by Special Representatives from the two countries to have been held to resolve the boundary dispute.