New Delhi: The
Indian Army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, Thursday briefed Defence
Minister A.K. Antony on the Chinese troop incursion in Ladakh even
as External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said he is visiting
China May 9. He described as "absurd" suggestions that the current
stand-off would derail bilateral ties.
The army chief, who returned from a visit to the Northern Command
headquarters at Nagrota, near Jammu Wednesday, briefed the defence
minister on the situation after Chinese troops entered around 10
km into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the
Depsang area of Ladakh April 15 and pitched tents.
The LAC is the de-facto border between India and China.
Various options were discussed during the meeting, the sources
said, even as they termed the incursion a "technicality" that
would be dealt with the local commanders on the ground.
Indian and Chinese military commanders had Tuesday held a second
flag meeting to resolve the stand-off. There are reports that a
third flag meeting could be held, but sources refused to confirm
India has asked China to maintain the status quo that existed
before the April 15 intrusion
Gen. Bikram Singh had met the army commander, Lt. Gen. K.T.
Parnaik, and other senior officers during his visit to the
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday he would
visit China May 9 as previously scheduled and expressed confidence
that the stand-off on the LAC would be resolved.
"I am going on May 9," Khurshid told reporters when asked about
his proposed visit to China.
Khurshid said such situations arise as there are differences in
perception between the two countries as there is no demarcation of
their boundary. He added that there was a working mechanism
between the two countries to deal with such issues and expressed
confidence that New Delhi and Beijing would be able to resolve the
"Let us allow that mechanism to find its solution, and repeatedly
it has found (resolution). We have good reasons to believe that it
should be able to do it again," he said.
Addressing FICCI's National Executive Committee Meeting (NECM)
here, Khurshid said he is visiting Beijing with the confidence
that India's friendly relations with China have matured and "the
test of being friendly is evident from the fact that there is
going to be a dialogue and it is the end result which matters".
"While we may agree to differ on different issues, it is important
to maintain faith as India has always cherished diversity. We
can't destroy years of investment in our relationship because
something goes wrong. It is important to see the overall picture,
at the same time any effort to resolve the issue should not be
seen as surrender but a part of our process of growing up,"
Khurshid's trip comes ahead Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to
India in the third week of May. Antony is also slated to visit
China next month.
India and China have thriving trade relations. In 2012, bilateral
trade between India and China stood at over $65 billion.
The Indian Army had also given its inputs to the China Study Group
that is monitoring the situation in Ladakh.
Headed by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, the China
Study Group includes the secretaries of the defence, external
affairs and home ministries.
The developments come as China has denied that its soldiers and
aircraft had trespassed into India.
China's defence ministry Thursday denied that Chinese border
troops and aircraft had trespassed across the LAC.
The media reports on Chinese border troops, military planes and
helicopters crossing the LAC are "not true", said Yang Yujun, the
ministry's spokesman, at a press conference in Beijing.
Chinese and Indian border troops are maintaining communications
through existing channels, Xinhua quoted him as saying. China's
border troops have strictly observed relevant agreements between
China and India and have been working to safeguard border peace,