China on Tuesday said the standoff with India at the Ladakh region has been resolved as both sides completed simultaneous withdrawal of troops, and underlined that the two nations have the “determination and capability” to maintain peace and stability at the border areas.
“On September 30, the frontier defence troops of the two countries completed simultaneous withdrawal according to the steps formulated by the two sides and restored peace and tranquillity in the area,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
“The two sides reached a consensus on properly resolving the recent standoff between the frontier defence troops at the border between the two countries,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the press statement as saying.
The Foreign Ministry said the two sides will continue to communicate on issues relating to maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border areas through the China-India border consultation and coordination mechanism, a body established by both sides to resolve such issues.
“Both sides understand that friendly cooperation conform with their common interests and peaceful and tranquil borders are important for the growth of bilateral relations,” it said.
The Foreign Ministry said the “two sides have the determination, wisdom and capability to jointly maintain peace and stability at the border areas to create a sound environment for the expansion of bilateral relations.”
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi had met on September 25 at the United Nations and discussed the border stand-off issue.
The two armies were engaged in a stand-off at Chumar region in Ladakh, coinciding with the first visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.
Tension in the area erupted on September 21 when some Chinese workers, who were constructing a road on their side, crossed into the Indian side and also claimed that they had orders to build a road up to Tible, 5-km deep inside Indian territory.
As the two sides grappled to resolve the incident, Chinese foreign and defence ministries had played it down saying that it was not a significant issue in the overall contest of Sino-India relations.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Col Geng Yansheng had said on September 25 that “I would like to emphasis again that
because the China-India border is not demarcated, it is sometimes inevitable that incidents happen.”
“What is important is for both sides to implement agreements signed by both sides to boost mutual understanding and mutual trust and make joint efforts to maintain peace and stability in the India-China border region,” he had said.
He had skipped questions on why the incursion took place coinciding with the visit of top Chinese leaders to India.
While Chinese troops entered the Depsang Valley in Ladakh region last year during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit, the two armies were engaged in a stand-off at Chumar region in Ladakh coinciding with the visit of President Xi, creating speculation whether they were the pressure tactics by the Chinese military to press for an early settlement of the boundary issue.
Also Xi’s call to the top military after his return from India that his instructions should be followed, sparked off rumours whether some of the local Commanders acted on their own.
India asserts that the border dispute covered about 4,000 km, while China claims that it confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines