Beijing: China on Monday asked India to respect the Line of Actual Control and refrain from “hyping up” the boundary issue and work with it to jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s remarks came in response to a report that China has lodged a strong protest with New Delhi, alleging “transgression” by the Indian troops in the strategically sensitive Asaphila area along Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian side has dismissed Beijing’s complaint.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang skirted a direct response to the report and said, “I do not understand the specific state of affairs that you mentioned that happened recently on the Sino-Indian border”.
“Prior to the resolution of the border issue, it is hoped that the Indian side abide by the agreement protocol, respect and obey the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and refrain from hyping up the issue and work with China to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Mr Geng said.
He, however, reiterated China’s repeated stand that Beijing never recognised Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as part of southern Tibet.
“China’s position on the Sino-Indian boundary issue is consistent and clear. The Chinese government has never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
“Both China and India are negotiating to resolve the boundary issue between the two countries and seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides,” he said.
Both the countries have Special Representative talks mechanism to resolve the boundary issue.
The two countries so far have held 20 rounds of talks to resolve the boundary dispute and worked out different mechanisms to keep peace along the 3,488 km-long LAC.
Asked about the recent visit of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to New Delhi on April 6 and reports of several Indian top ministers visiting China this month, Mr Geng said, “China and India have sound momentum of exchanges and close cooperation. It is not strange to have such kind of cooperation.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to visit China in June to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to be held in the Chinese city of Qingdao.