Foreign Ministry says incident will neither affect ‘peace and stability in border areas’ nor ‘normal development’ of bilateral relations

: While India and China continued working channels at different levels to defuse the stand-off in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese government maintained on Thursday that it had “not provoked” the border row, adding that it believed the incident could be “properly handled” and would not affect overall bilateral relations.

China reiterated its position that its troops were on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but said both countries had the “willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations.”

“With the boundary not demarcated yet, it is inevitable for problems to crop up in border areas,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing.

“When there is a problem in border areas, the two sides should resolve it through friendly consultations through existing mechanisms and channels. We believe this incident can also be properly handled and will not affect peace and stability of border areas as well as the normal development of India-China relations.”

While Chinese officials maintain frontier troops did not cross the LAC, Indian officials have pointed out that although perceptions of where the line ran were indeed differing and both sides had carried out patrols in contested areas in the past, it was rare for troops to set up a tented post in a disputed region.

Ms. Hua, however, denied that Chinese troops had triggered the recent tensions. “I don’t agree with [the] allegation that it is the Chinese side who provoked confrontation between border troops,” she said in response to a question.