Beijing/New Delhi: India and China today admitted to intrusion by Chinese herdsmen into Ladakh last week but both the sides sought to play it down saying the issue was resolved amicably through a flag meeting. "The issue was properly resolved through the border personnel meeting," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its response to an e-mail query from PTI in Beijing on reports of Chinese herdsmen intruding into Demchok sector along the Line of Actual Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Maintaining peace and tranquility in the China-India border areas is an important consensus and a common aspiration of the two sides. China will work with India to safeguard the peace and tranquility in the border area between the two countries," it said.
In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to the reports of intrusion, said, "The Chinese went back after the flag meeting." The incident is reported to have taken place on July 25 at the Charding Nilu Nullah Junction in the Demchok sector along the LAC. An Indian patrolling team was dispatched to the spot and later a team of China's People's Liberation Army also reached there. The reports suggested that a flag meeting between the commanders from both sides finally resulted in the Chinese agreeing to move back the herdsmen a day after.
In the context of border disputes, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also cited President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil, on sidelines of the BRICS Summit this month, during which the two leaders agreed to manage and handle differences in a positive and forward-looking manner. "The two sides agreed to manage and handle differences in a positive and forward-looking manner, strengthen mutual trust, jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border and not let the boundary question become an obstacle to development of relations between the two countries," the ministry said of the meeting between the two leaders.
"This consensus is an important guide for the two sides to handle and resolve the boundary question. China is committed to resolving this issue through negotiation and consultation with the Indian side," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. "Going forward, the Chinese side would actively implement the important consensus between the leaders of the two countries, continue to push forward the boundary negotiation process with India, strive for arriving at a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution at an early date and push forward the development of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership," the ministry said.
According to the Chinese official media, during his meeting with Modi, Xi vowed to build strong ties with India and called for negotiated solution to the border issues between the two countries at an "early date". Last fortnight, Chinese troops reportedly made two incursion attempts in Demchok and Chumar areas of Ladakh sector in Jammu and Kashmir but were pushed back into their territory by Indian security personnel. The two incursion bids by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) came even as Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi emphasised on the need to find a solution to the boundary question during their meeting in Fortaleza.
The latest incident occurred in Charding Nilu Nullah Junction (CNNJ) in Demchok sector when PLA personnel entered the area on their vehicles claiming it to be Chinese territory. The PLA soldiers who wanted to have a round of the area were stopped by the Indian army and personnel of Indo Tibetan Border Police(ITBP). After a 30-minute long stand-off followed by a banner drill where armies of both the countries warned each other against moving a step forward, the Chinese PLA returned to their side, the sources said.