Keep peace on China-India border: Official

08:41, December 02, 2009      

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China and India should work together to maintain peace and harmony in the border region between the countries, said foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang during a regular news briefing yesterday.

Indian media said yesterday that work on the road to link Demchok village, which is 300 kilometers southeast of Leh, beyond India's last post in the Ladakh region, was stopped in October after objections by China.

The 8-km road was being built in the remote Demchok area of the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a military line that divides Indian Kashmir and the part held by China.

Indian Officials claim that the road was well within Indian territory.

The Express News Service in New Delhi quoted Indian Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju as saying that "the whole problem arises in the different perception of the actual border. That is why it has possibly been stopped."

Fu Xiaoqiang, senior researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told China Daily that the China-India border issue is complex.

"India's action now is jeopardizing the Sino-Indian relationship. India thinks it can force China to agree with it (by building a road over the disputed area), but China's attitude won't bend."

Fu said China's objection is a friendly reminder of the LAC to India, but it is not impeding construction as reported by Indian media.

The LAC is the effective border between India and China. The term LAC gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. In the 1996 agreement it states, "no activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."

Former Chinese ambassador to India Pei Yuanying told China Daily that different perceptions of the LAC is the reason for the dispute.

"We think (according to the LAC) the territory belongs to us, and our Indian counterparts believe in the opposite."

Pei said that similar friction that has arisen in the past has also been caused by different perceptions of the location of the LAC.

"China and India have already agreed to maintain peace in their border region. I don't think the road dispute is a conspiracy by either party. The two sides won't harm each other unnecessarily because neither will be benefited."

Border issues have tortured Beijing and New Delhi for decades. So far, 13 rounds of border talks have been held between the nations.

Last month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed to gradually narrow differences on border issues between the two countries when they met in Thailand for the ASEAN-related summits.

Source:China Daily
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