Border dispute with China can be solved - Indian PM
27 April AFP
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday he believes a
border dispute over an alleged incursion by Chinese soldiers can be
resolved, the Press Trust of India reported.
"It is a localised problem, we do believe it can be solved," Singh
was quoted as saying by the news agency after Chinese soldiers were
accused of intruding across the disputed border in the Ladakh region
earlier this month.
The incident has marked a renewal of tensions between the Asian
neighbours whose relations are often prickly -- a legacy of a 1962
border war. Singh's statement came after India's Defence Secretary
Shashi Kant Sharma presented a report on the incursion to a
parliamentary watchdog Friday in which local media said he alleged
Chinese soldiers had advanced nearly 20 kilometres (12 miles) into
The prime minister's comments, his first on the dispute, echoed
statements of other government ministers playing down the alleged
incursion in the western part of Indian-held Kashmir's Ladakh region and
insisting it can be settled amicably.
"We have a plan, we do not want to accentuate the situation," Singh
said, without elaborating.
Lower-level talks between military officials have so far failed to
break the impasse. According to officials in New Delhi, a platoon of
Chinese troops set up a camp inside Indian territory on April 15.
Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid announced earlier in the week
he will head for China on May 8, saying both countries had a mutual
interest in not allowing the dispute to "destroy" long-term progress in
A foreign ministry official has said new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
is due to travel to New Delhi late next month, without giving an exact
date.India has called on the Chinese soldiers to withdraw while China
has denied any wrongdoing.
In 1962, China gave India a bloody nose in the war fought in the
Himalayan regions of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.The de facto border
separating China and India is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).