China silent on terms of accord

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says it still needed "the latest information"

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:19 pm IST

Published - May 06, 2013 03:33 pm IST - BEIJING:

An aerial view of five tents erected by the Chinese in Indian territory recently.

An aerial view of five tents erected by the Chinese in Indian territory recently.

China on Monday confirmed that the frontier forces of both countries had "terminated the stand-off" in Ladakh, but declined to provide details over the terms of the settlement, which saw both sides withdraw from the Depsang plains to their original positions to end the three week-long stalemate.

"China and India have reached an agreement on resolving the incident in the western section of the border," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement on Monday evening.

"The frontier forces of the two countries have terminated the stand-off at the Tiannan River Valley area," the statement said, adding that both sides "moved forward and adopted a constructive and cooperative attitude and calmed the tensions through border-related mechanisms, diplomatic channels and border defence meetings" since the stand-off began last month.

Earlier on Monday, Ms. Hua, at a regular briefing, said both countries had “kept in mind the larger interests” of the bilateral relationship in addressing the stand-off, which was sparked on April 15 after Chinese soldiers set up tented posts.

The three-week-long face-off ended on Sunday evening after a series of flag meetings between the two sides and consultations between the Foreign Ministries.

The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said on Monday both sides had “agreed to restore status quo ante” as of April 15, with flag meetings held “to work out the modalities and to confirm the arrangements.”

Asked if Chinese soldiers had withdrawn to their original positions prior to April 15, Ms. Hua did not provide details, only saying “the two sides have been constructive and cooperative” and had made “positive progress”.

China has maintained that its troops did not cross the Line of Actual Control, blaming differing perceptions of the line for the stand-off. But Indian officials say neither side had in the past set up tented posts in areas where claim-lines were overlapping, even if they had carried out patrols.

What prompted the Chinese troops to do so - a move seen by Indian officials as a provocation - remains unclear, with Chinese officials saying little more than the official line that their troops had not trespassed the LAC.

The Chinese side had in the flag meetings reportedly expressed objections to recent Indian fortifications in Ladakh, leading some analysts to suggest the incursion may have been a move to press India to halt recent moves to beef up infrastructure in border areas.

Ms. Hua said on Monday China believed that “maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas serves the common interests of the two sides”.

“China,” she said, "would like to work with India to reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution to border issues at the earliest possible date".

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