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China refutes trespass claims
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16:01, September 10, 2009

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China's border patrol strictly abides by the relevant agreements on the Line of Actual Control along the China-India border and has never carried out "provocative actions" toward India, a press official of China's Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

"The recent reports by Indian media of intrusions are groundless and irresponsible," the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Global Times.

The statement followed remarks Tuesday by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu, who dismissed the Indian media reports as "groundless and incorrect."

According to Indian media reports on Sunday, Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 kilometers into Indian territory near Mount Gya in the Ladakh region, recognized as the international border by India and China, and painted boulders and rocks with red spray paint.

This latest development comes after an earlier report by Indian media that Chinese helicopters had violated Indian air space along the Line of Actual Control in the Chumar region in June and dropped some out-of-date food from the aircraft.

"Indian media always quotes government officials as their sources, but the Chinese military has not received any protests from the Indian Ministry of Defense recently," a source close to the Chinese military told the Global Times, adding that the reports have "greatly displeased" officials in the Chinese military.

China and India share a border of about 2,000 kilometers. The disputed areas cover about 125,000 square kilometers. The two sides have signed several agreements to maintain peace and build trust between the two militaries in border areas. In 2003, the two neighbors established the government-representative mechanism.

According to the source, a senior military delegation from India visited China recently and the militaries of the two nations have a good relationship and specific contact channels.

Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said Monday that the border with China is "one of the most peaceful boundaries that we have had."

Ouyang Wei, a Chinese military expert from the University of National Defense, noted that the negative reports on China by Indian media far exceed those made by Chinese media on India, which is a very significant problem in bilateral relations.

"The Indian government should investigate the irresponsible reports, to find the sources of the fake news, and refute the rumors," Ouyang said.

Weapon secrets leaked?

In another development, Indian authorities declared Wednesday that they would "facilitate" an early release for the crew of a United Arab Emirates Air Force plane detained in Kolkata.

Joyati Ghosh, an India Central Industrial Security Force commandant, indicated in a statement that as a result of the India and UAE relationship, the aircraft would be released soon.

"The flight will be released Wednesday afternoon at the earliest," an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters in a press release.

The nine-member crew was staying in a hotel under tight security, an anonymous official from the MFA revealed.

The Indian government detained the plane Sunday when it discovered arms and explosives onboard without an earlier declaration of its cargo.

"Accordingly, after the concurrence of the pilot-in-command of the aircraft, customs officials entered the aircraft to inquire about the nature of the cargo," according to a Tuesday statement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry.

The captain of the flight, Major Ibrahim Alshamsei filed a declaration to Indian customs stating that the flight was carrying arms, ammunition and/or explosives, and also provided details about the cargo that consists of combat missiles, the ministry said.

Dai Xu, a renowned military expert, said that the actions by Indian authorities violated diplomatic rights as the cargo on board belong to China.

"Any inspection onboard, which may have violated China's property rights and constituted spying on its military secrets, should be approved by both the UAE and China," Dai said.

An unnamed military source told the Global Times the UAE airplane was on a mission transporting Chinese arms from an arms expo in Abu Dhabi.

When the airplane stopped in Kolkata Sunday to refuel, the UAE crew member used the empty cargo certificate it used when it flew to China to carry the weapons at the beginning.

Source: Global Times

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