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India-China holds hectic talks to end standoff at Ladakh border area

BEIJING: India and China held hectic parlays to resolve the standoff at the Ladakh border area even as the Chinese military Thursday played it down, saying such incidents are “sometimes inevitable” but the situation is under “effective control” with the joint efforts of the two sides.

Indian Ambassador Ashok K Kantha, who returned from New Delhi where he coordinated President Xi Jinping's visit last week, held talks with officials of the Chinese Foreign and Defence Ministries to find a way out to end the standoff which overshadowed the gains made during the Xi's maiden visit.

Indian officials said the talks are still continuing but they remained silent about any time line though they were hopeful that the standdoff would be resolved soon. On its part, the Chinese military came out with a lengthy explanation of its stand on the standoff, saying that it will be solved as soon as possible.

“Through the joint efforts of both sides it (standoff) is under effective control and I hope that with the continued efforts of both sides it can be solved as soon as possible and peace and stability will be maintained at the China-India border,” Defence spokesman Col Geng Yansheng told reporters.

“I would like to emphasise again that because the China- India border is not demarcated, it is sometimes inevitable that incidents happen. What is important is for both sides to implement agreements signed by both sides to boost mutual understanding and mutual trust and make joint efforts to maintain peace stability in the India-China border region,” he said, replying to a number of questions from PTI on why such incidents are taking place at the border.

The spokesman said while it is quite natural for some incidents to happen along the border, “this kind of incidents will not change the overall situation of good neighbourliness and friendship between China and India.”

He skipped questions on why the incursion takes place coinciding with the visit of top Chinese leaders to India. While Chinese troops entered the Depsang Valley in Ladakh region last year during Premier Li Keqiang's visit, the two armies were engaged in a stand-off at Chumar region in Ladakh coinciding with the first visit of President Xi Jinping.

It was reiterated during President Xi's visit that before the final settlement of the border issue, the two sides will jointly safeguard peace and stability in the border region, Geng said. For the incidents at the China-India border region, there are channels of communication that are functioning quite well, he said.

“The problems can be solved through dialogue and consultation. Both sides should manage the situation and maintain peace and stability in the area. In the recent incident both sides communicated with each other through the existing channels. The situation is currently under effective control and China and India border is peaceful,” he added.