FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM CHINA, INDIA GLOSS OVER BORDER STANDOFF MEETING IN BEIJING

Fox News on May 10, 2013, published an AP report that the foreign ministers of China and India have glossed over a recent standoff along their countries’ disputed border in an apparent sign that the incident will not harm future high-level contacts.

New Delhi had accused Chinese troops of crossing the de facto border between the countries on April 15 and pitching camp in the Depsang valley in the Ladakh region of eastern Kashmir. Although China said its troops stayed on their side of the frontier as recognized by Beijing, India moved its soldiers just 300 meters (yards) from the Chinese position. A series of meetings were held and troops from both sides withdrew.

Since arriving in Beijing the Indian Foreign Minister Khurshid has declined to speak to foreign media, but he was quoted by India’s The Hindu newspaper as saying the cause of the border incident was not discussed in the meeting.

“I think they were not offering us that background, and we were not asking for that background,” the paper quoted Khurshid as saying. “There was a tremendous sense of satisfaction that it was resolved in the manner it was resolved.”

Khurshid is scheduled to meet Friday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and senior foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi.

The minister’s visit was intended to set the stage for Li’s trip to India later this month, which the border incident had threatened to overshadow. While the reasons behind the incident remain murky, its tidy resolution appears designed to ensure a smooth reception for Li as he makes his first overseas trip since taking on the post of premier in March 2013.

Asian giants with more than 1 billion people each, India and China have had chilly relations since they fought a brief border war in 1962.

India says China is occupying 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of territory in the Aksai Chin plateau in the western Himalayas, while China claims around 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Fifteen rounds of talks have failed to resolve the dispute.

In a separate commentary, Xinhua praised the way the standoff had been resolved in a “quick fashion as the two-way ties are getting more mature each day.”

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