Of­fi­cials say In­dia, China de­cide to con­tinue ef­forts to defuse their bor­der row

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION & WORLD -

NEW DELHI — In­dia and China will press ahead with mil­i­tary and diplo­matic en­gage­ments in a bid to re­solve a stand­off along their dis­puted Hi­malayan fron­tier, the for­eign min­istry in New Delhi said Sun­day.

The Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­istry said in a state­ment that a meet­ing be­tween In­dian and Chi­nese mil­i­tary com­man­ders at a bor­der post in the Hi­malayan re­gion on Satur­day took place in a “cor­dial and pos­i­tive at­mos­phere.”

“Both sides agreed to peace­fully re­solve the sit­u­a­tion in the bor­der ar­eas in ac­cor­dance with var­i­ous bi­lat­eral agree­ments and keep­ing in view the agree­ment be­tween the lead­ers that peace and tran­quil­ity in the In­di­aChina bor­der re­gions is es­sen­tial for the over­all de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions,” the state­ment said.

There was no im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion from Beijing.

In­dian of­fi­cials say the stand­off be­gan in early May when large con­tin­gents of Chi­nese sol­diers en­tered deep in­side In­dian-con­trolled ter­ri­tory at three places in Ladakh, erect­ing tents and posts.

They said the Chi­nese sol­diers ig­nored re­peated ver­bal warn­ings to leave, trig­ger­ing shout­ing matches, stone-throw­ing and fist­fights.

In­dia also mo­bi­lized thou­sands of sol­diers.

China has sought to down­play the con­fronta­tion while say­ing the two sides were com­mu­ni­cat­ing through both their front-line mil­i­tary units and their re­spec­tive em­bassies to re­solve the is­sue.

The In­dia-China bor­der dis­pute cov­ers nearly 2,175 miles of fron­tier that the two coun­tries call the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol. They fought a bit­ter war in 1962 that spilled into Ladakh.

The two sides have been try­ing since the early 1990s to set­tle their dis­pute with­out suc­cess.

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