China denies Indian border incursion

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BEIJING/NEW DELHI - China Tuesday denied its troops had crossed into Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir’s frontier region of Ladakh and said it has been “respecting” the peace agreements between the two countries.

“China’s border personnel have been respecting the two agreements made between the two countries to maintain peace and tranquility in border areas and have never crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC),” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters here.

Hong was replying to a question about reports in the Indian media on Chinese incursion in Ladakh which India also termed as “baseless”.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said his country had taken note of the Indian government’s clarification about the issue.

“We have taken note that the Indian side has issued a clarification on the relevant issue,” he said.

The media reports had suggested that Chinese troops entered the Indian side of the LAC — the de facto border between the two countries — near Demchok area in Leh district.

India has denied any border incursion saying “these reports are baseless and do not conform to facts”.

“They are, therefore, not a cause for concern… There are differences in perception, between India and China, on the Line of Actual Control in this area,” said a statement issued by the Indian ministry of external affairs.

Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh also who played down the incursion reports. “There is a perceptional difference about the Line of Actual Control between us and China. Obviously somebody (with a) perception that the border passes through a particular area is going to come and stop, like we would do if it was our perception,” Singh said.

India and China have a lingering border tension and the nations have conducted more than 14 rounds of talks to resolve disputes.

India says China has illegally occupied 38,000 sq km of its territory. The two Asian neighbours called for a stronger partnership during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day visit to India last month.

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