China plays down border row with India



Beijing: China on Friday sought to play down the border row with India over its troops setting up their tents in Depsang Valley in Ladakh, saying the two sides had the capacity and wisdom to resolve the issue through friendly consultations.

"India and China are in close in communication to resolve the differences over the issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.

Initially Hua was reluctant to answer questions on the issue saying that she has already expounded China's position in the last few days.

Pressed further on the issue on the strong reaction from India on Chinese troops taking up positions at Depsang Valley in Ladakh, including summoning Chinese Ambassador to New Delhi Wei Wei, Hua said "I want stress once again two countries maintained close communication on border issues and both countries had the willingness to properly resolve the relevant issue through dialogue and negotiation".

"We also believe that the two countries had the capacity and wisdom to solve the issue through friendly consultation so as to maintain peace and stability in the border areas," she said.

In the past few days, the Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry reiterated that Chinese troops have not violated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in erecting their tents at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh, asserting that there is no trespass involved.

Hua's comments playing down the incident came as External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is due to visit Beijing on May 9 followed by plans by the new Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, to visit New Delhi.

According to experts, Li's gesture to make New Delhi the first stop during his maiden foreign trip is aimed at sending a message of Beijing's desire to improve relations with India.

PTI