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China dismisses PLA general's outburst against India

July 06, 2013 21:38 IST

Dismissing provocative comments made by a 'Major General' of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army who sparked a controversy ahead of Defence Minister A K Antony's visit, officials in Beijing on Saturday said that the officer was superannuated and retired from political and military posts a while ago.

Comments by Maj Gen Luo Yuan set off a controversy on June 4 when he accused India of occupying 90,000 sq km of territory and cautioned New Delhi not to "provoke" China by increasing the military deployment at the border to "start new trouble".

While his comments riled the Indian side which reportedly sought a clarification from China on his hawkish remarks, Indian officials who took part in the two-day talks between Antony and top Chinese officials said that he was retired from PLA and other posts and held no official position to attribute any importance to his remarks.

He used to be in the academy of military sciences, officials in Beijing said pointing out that he does not occupy any official position and is prone to making provocative statements.

Lou, while interacting with the foreign media at a meeting arranged by All China Journalists Association, an official body, had said, "The Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase the military deployment at the border areas and start new trouble" while replying to a question on India-China relations.

Indian officials said, on the contrary during their interaction with Antony, Premier Li Keqiang and Defence Minister Cheng Wanquang conveyed China's serious interest in stepping up political and military relations with India, while making efforts to resolve the boundary dispute.

"The impression we got from the Chinese political and military leadership was just opposite of what this retired general tried to portray," an Indian official who took part in the talks, said.

Images: Chinese soldiers guarding its border with India at Nathula Pass in Sikkim

Photograph: Reuters

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