Antony plays down Chinese border incursions

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New Delhi, Oct 25: Today Defence Minister A K Antony played down frequent incursions carried out by Chinese troops along the border, particularly in the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern part of the country, terming it "differences in perception".

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Naval Commanders' Conference here, Antony said, "Occasionally there are some aberrations. China perceives certain areas as theirs' and according to our perception it is ours. So, it sometimes happens as per their perception they will visit these areas and according to our perception, our team also visits our areas."

"So, these kinds of incursions take place on both sides. I don't think there is anything serious,' he added.

Antony's remark follows recent assessment by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), whose Director General VK Joshi admitted that in the past one year Chinese troops carried out 141 border incursions, which makes it one border incursion by Beijing every three days.

Though these incursions never reached a 'flashpoint', Joshi said that diplomatic channels are now handling the issue.

The special representatives talks between India and China 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.


ANI>

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