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China finally admits to 2013 incursion in Ladakh

July 31, 2014 18:02 IST

For the first time, the Chinese military on Thursday acknowledged last year’s incursion at the DepsangValley in Ladakh region and said such incidents occurred due to different perception about the Line of Actual Control.

“Last year there was some incident in the border region. All the issues have been properly solved though negotiations,” Colonel Geng Yansheng, spokesperson for the ministry of national defence said.

However, he did not specifically mention the Depsang Valley by name where the People’s Liberation Army troops pitched tents to assert their control over the area in April last year.

“The boundary line has not been demarcated and both sides has different interpretation on the Line of Actual Control,” he said while answering a question posed at a press briefing here in which select foreign media was permitted for the first time in the history of Chinese military.

The incident at Depsang valley, which took place ahead of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India in May last year, had created military and diplomatic tensions but was resolved after hectic round of negotiations following which Chinese troops withdrew.

This is the first time Chinese military referred to the Depsang incident and so far there has been no explanation why Chinese troops resorted to it days ahead of Li’s visit, which was his first visit abroad after taking over as Premier.

Several such incidents including an intrusion by Chinese herdsmen this month at Ladakh region have taken place but resolved amicably. Geng affirmed that such incidents have taken place due to different perceptions at the LAC.

“China India border issue is left over from history. The boundary line between the countries has not been demarcated. Both sides have different interpretations of the LAC,” he said. “The two governments had reached important consensus on resolving the disputes in the border areas,” he said and referred to the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, which was signed last year to address aggressive patrolling of the disputed border by both sides. 

K J M Varma
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