Reports on Xi's 'regional war' remarks are 'wild guess':China

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Beijing, Sep 23: China today termed as "wild guess" reports that President Xi Jinping's comments asking the PLA to improve its ability to win a regional war were made in the context of the border standoff with India and said the leadership of the two countries have reached a consensus to solve the boundary dispute through friendly consultations.

"You said Indian media are asking this question but I believe that this may be a wild guess," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here when asked about the context of Xi's remarks. Xi yesterday asked the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to be combat ready to win a "regional war" and make sure that all decisions from the central leadership are strictly followed.

"Headquarters of all PLA forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology," Xi, who returned from India last week after a three-day visit, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Hua said, "President Xi concluded his very successful visit to India and was warmly welcomed by the Indian government and Indian people. During his visit, the two leaders reached important consensus on Sino-Indian relations." "There may be some problems between the two countries but you can be assured that the two leaders also have consensus on such issues that is to solve the disputes through friendly coordination and pending the final settlement we will maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas," she said.

"We will never allow border area issues to influence Sino-India relations, so you may be assured," Hua said. Asked about reports of presence of Chinese troops in the Ladakh region, Hua said "we have noted such reports." "As I said earlier China and India have strong willingness and sincerity. Through the existing mechanism we can effectively and properly manage such an issue.

As far as I am concerned such a dispute has been managed and border area is in tranquility," she said. Responding to reports of India cancelling the interaction between Chinese and Indian media delegations raising concerns about future development of ties in the backdrop of Xi's visit, Hua said, "I do not believe that cancel is the right word. It may have been delayed. I will make further checks on this. It is not right to connect such two things."

Asked about concerns over future development of India- China ties, she said "I am wondering where your concerns come from. I believe that we all should take holistic and objective view in saying these things. We should be optimistic about the future." 

PTI

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