Indian and Chinese military commanders are holding a meeting to ease tension between the world’s two most populous countries after an alleged Chinese incursion along their disputed 3,550-kilometer (2,205-mile) Himalayan border.
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a briefing today denied India’s allegations, while Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai of the South Asian country summoned Wei Wei, the Chinese ambassador in New Delhi, for talks last week after the incident in Ladakh in northern India.
“We have asked the Chinese side to maintain the status quo,” Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs told reporters in New Delhi today. “We aim to resolve everything peacefully.”
The nuclear-armed neighbors, home to more than a third of the world’s people, claim territory held by the other and clashed during a brief border conflict in 1962. India accuses China of occupying 38,000 square kilometers of territory in Jammu and Kashmir to the west, while the government in Beijing lays claim to 90,000 square kilometers of land in Arunachal Pradesh, a state in India’s east.
The two sides have been unable to resolve their disputes after more than a dozen rounds of discussions since 2005. Military relations between the two countries were suspended in August 2010 after China issued a visa to an Indian army officer in charge of forces in Kashmir without stamping his passport, an act seen as questioning India’s rule over the disputed Himalayan territory.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew MacAskill in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at email@example.com