Don’t want to accentuate situation: PM on Chinese incursion

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday termed the incursion by Chinese troops in Ladakh as a “localized problem” and said India does not want to accentuate the situation.

Answering media queries on the sidelines of an event here, the prime minister said the government has a plan to defuse the stand-off over the Chinese troop incursion.

“We do have a plan. We do not want to accentuate the situation. We do believe that it is possible to resolve this problem. It is a localised problem. Talks are going on (with China).”

The prime minister’s reaction comes a day after a parliamentary panel was told that Chinese troops had intruded 19 km deep inside Indian territory in Depsang in Ladakh region and pitched tents.

Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and senior defence ministry officials had told a parliamentary panel that India and China were trying to resolve through existing mechanisms.

Indian Army patrols had reported the presence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops in Depsang on April 16. Indian and Chinese military commanders have held two inconclusive flag meetings to resolve the stand-off.

India has asked China to maintain status quo on the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border between the two countries – that existed before the intrusion.

The Chinese government had Friday said it believed both sides had the “capacity and wisdom” to defuse the row.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing: “I want stress once again two countries maintained close communication on border issues and both countries had the willingness to properly resolve the relevant issue through dialogue and negotiation.”

“We also believe that the two countries had the capacity and wisdom to solve the issue through friendly consultation so as to maintain peace and stability in the border areas,” she said.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is to visit Beijing May 9, has said that both countries have a working mechanism to deal with such issues and expressed confidence that New Delhi and Beijing would be able to resolve the row.

Khurshid’s trip comes ahead Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India in the third week of May.

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