New Delhi, Oct 24: A series of high profile visits by Indian dignitaries to China comes amidst New Delhi's admission that Chinese troops made 141 border incursions, particularly in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in the north eastern part of the country in the past one year.
The Director-General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), VK Joshi, said this but also added that the incidents of incursions by Chinese troops never reached a 'flashpoint' and that the diplomatic channels are now handling the issue.
This comes amidst External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Harbin in China where he would be meeting his Chinese and Russian counterparts- Yang Jiechi and Sergey Lavrov and Chinese as part of the trilateral meet.
Though he has said that bilateral issues like the border dispute with China will not be discussed at the trilateral forum, it is expected that Mukherjee will raise the incursion issue with Jiechi, with whom he is likely to have a separate meeting.
The special representatives talks between the two countries led by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo to resolve the contentious border issue has not moved ahead in spite of several rounds of talks.
Earlier, a parliamentarian hailing from Arunachal Pradesh had claimed that Chinese had incurred into Indian territory in the Tawang region. Though Indian Foreign Ministry and the Army quickly refuted this, it failed to stop the onset of a new chill in the diplomatic relations between two countries.
A joint army exercise has also failed to take off after a last minute cancellation of Chinese official's visit to New Delhi, where the two sides were expected to finalise the schedule. The exercise now remains indefinitely postponed.
Chinese attitude to the 123-agreement between India and the US that would help New Delhi to get nuclear fuel supplies for its civilian nuclear plants has further dampened the relationship between two Asian giants, according to strategic analysts.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's visit to Beijing this week followed by expected visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month is expected to bring about a thaw in the bilateral relations.