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Hectic talks to end stand-off at Ladakh border

India and China held hectic talks to resolve the stand-off at the Ladakh border, even as the Chinese military on Thursday played it down, saying such incidents are “sometimes inevitable” but the situation is under “effective control” with the joint efforts of the both 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 stand-off which overshadowed the gains made during the Xi’s maiden visit.

Indian officials said talks are still on but were silent on when they though the stand-off would be resolved.

The Chinese military came out with a lengthy explanation of its stand on the stand-off, 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 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.

Chinese troops had entered the Depsang Valley in Ladakh region last year, during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit. The two armies were again engaged in a stand-off at Chumar region in Ladakh now, 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.

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