China on Thursday reiterated that its border troops did not cross over to Indian territory in Ladakh but added that the issue could be resolved through ongoing negotiations between the two countries.
Deftly avoiding questions on whether Chinese troops were responding to a possible violation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Indian army, foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said that China was opposed to any action across the LAC.
Both countries had “reached consensus [on maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas] and we are firmly opposed to any action that violates that consensus,”
Hua told the daily press conference on Thursday.
To a question on when he Chinese troops would withdraw from their position, Hua said: “This is a very specific question, but I want to reiterate that Chinese troops carry out normal patrols along the Chinese side of the LAC between China and India, and China and India are talking about the issue for a complete and appropriate settlement.”
She added that China was “firmly opposed to any action that crosses the LAC.”
Hua said the incident will not affect bilateral.
“China and India are neighbours. The border has not been delineated. Therefore it is natural for problems to crop up from time to time. What is important is for both sides to solve this issue as soon as possible through dialogue and negotiation,” Hua said.
She asked the media to “give more time and be more patient”, saying “the issue will be properly resolved soon through negotiation”.
Hua did not share details about meetings that Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid could have during his upcoming visit; he’s expected in Beijing on May 9.
Newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is also expected to visit India in the third week of May.
If the Chinese government attempted to play down the ongoing border row, the state media on Thursday said that the Indian government had remained ambiguous about the reported incursion and should clarify its stand.
The editorial piece in Global Times, a newspaper known for its nationalistic stand, said the Indian media and politicians were talking in provocative terms.
“Some Indian officials caution that China should pay no heed to the radical voices among some Indian media which sensationalize news. But their malicious impact is so real that it cannot be ignored. The Indian public has been informed about Chinese troops' "intrusion," while provocative words uttered by Indian media and politicians can be read by Chinese people online,” the Global Times said.
“The Indian government ought to clarify the so-called "intrusion" in a timely way and assume the responsibility of maintaining a good atmosphere. However, it hasn't done so. It has remained silent and ambiguous, which indulges Indian media habits,” the newspaper said.