Thursday, 30 April 2015

Chinese military guarded on LAC standoff ahead of PM Modi’s visit

BEIJING: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here next month, the Chinese military today gave a guarded response in dispelling apprehensions of yet another military standoff at the LAC saying that it “strictly abides” by agreements to maintain peace and stability on the border.
“Chinese border troops have always strictly abided by the agreements reached by the two governments and are committed to peace and stability along the border area,” defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a media briefing here today.
He was replying to questions about apprehensions of standoffs at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during Modi’s tour similar to the incidents which overshadowed the visits to India by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2013 and President Xi Jinping last September.
“To maintain peace and stability in the China-India border is a common interest of both the countries and it is also the common aspiration of the people of two countries,” he said replying to a question from PTI.
“Through the meeting mechanisms of the border defence troops, the officers and soldiers on both sides of the borders have conducted coordination and consultation with each other and we are willing to work together with the Indian side to strengthen cooperation in various fields and push forward for new relations of the two countries,” he said.
Modi is expected to arrive on his first visit to China from May 14-16.
A face-off at Depsang in Ladakh with Chinese troops pitching tents ahead of Li’s trip cast a shadow on the visit.
Li undertook his first visit abroad to New Delhi after taking over office to send a strong signal about the importance his new government attached to India. The issue was resolved after tense negotiations before his arrival.
Xi’s visit to India last year aimed at resetting ties after Modi’s election, was overshadowed by presence of Chinese troops at Chumar in the Ladakh region which was resolved amicably days after his trip.
Chinese military earlier defended the moves saying that such incidents took place due to different perceptions over the along the over 4,000-km LAC.
The border issue and the progress made so far in the 18 rounds of Special Representatives’ talks is expected to figure in Modi’s talks with Xi during his visit.
On the boundary issue and demarcation of LAC advocated by Modi during his talks with Xi last year, Geng said that the dispute is a legacy left over from history and both the governments are holding talks to resolve it.
“Before the final settlement of the boundary issue, the important consensus reached by both sides is that we should join hands to maintain peace and stability along the China-India border. We hope the Indian side can meet China halfway,” he said.
Source: Defence News

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