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China, India calm border tensions
May 7, 2013, 8:48 am


Indian army soldiers patrol at the Indo China border in Bumla [AP]

Ahead of a crucial visit by India’s external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, China and India have ended a standoff in their border area, the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokeswoman said on Monday.

“China and India have reached an agreement on resolving the incident in the western section of the border. The frontier forces of the two countries have terminated the standoff at the Tiannan River Valley area,” Hua Chunying said in a statement.

China has asserted that they would like to work with India to reach a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution to border issues” at the earliest possible date.

Since troops from the two sides began facing off in the western section of the China-India border last month, both sides calmed the tensions through border-related mechanisms, diplomatic channels and border defense meetings, she said.

Hua said maintaining peace in the border areas works in the common interests of the two countries.

An editorial in a leading Indian daily today has been critical of Indian media’s recent “war-mongering”.

“The US aided juxtaposition of India and China as natural enemies and not friends will exacerbate tensions as the years roll by, unless both countries work together to evolve a bilateral strategy that works on the commonalities of being ‘Asian’ and ‘neighbours’ and ‘large’ and ‘emerging’,” wrote Seema Mustafa in The Statesman.

“The border issues are a problem left over from history”, Hua said on Monday, adding that the two countries have reached consensus that they should not affect the overall bilateral relationship between China and India.

India’s ministry of external affairs in New Delhi also confirmed on Monday that 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.”

Salman Khurshid will be in Beijing on May 9.

“The two sides will exchange views in an in-depth way on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern,” said Hua.

With inputs from Xinhua