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India kept phone line open with Beijing to resolve border stand-off

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Tue, May 07, 2013 18:26 hrs

New Delhi: India's quiet diplomacy was at work again, as New Delhi kept the phone lines with Beijing continuously ringing to defuse the 20-day stand-off on the border, conveying firmly that the Chinese troops would have to revert to status quo that existed before the April 15 incursion.

No deal was also made with China, as both sides resolved the stand-off on Sunday night, making way for External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's visit to Beijing on May 9, informed sources said.

Dozens of phone calls were made to Beijing after the Chinese troops, which had intruded 19 km inside Indian territory in Depsang area of Ladakh, began to pitch tents. The message from India was unambiguous - revert to status quo ante as existed before April 15.

The Chinese side wanted dismantled a tin shed cover that Indian troops had put up in Chumar, around seven-eight km away from the regular Indian patrol position. The tin shed cover, which was put up on April 18, was dismantled as a sort of "concession", while Indian forces continue to patrol on foot as before in the area, the sources added.

The thinking that the Chinese intrusion was a "localized" affair, as has been stated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was reinforced as the five tents were pitched in an isolated spot in Depsang Bulge, far away from any line of supplies, the sources added.

India is also considering a proposed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between the two countries that is aimed at maintaining friendly contacts between the border troops.

Besides bilateral issues, Khurshid during his visit would discuss the issue of trade imbalance with China, including Indian concerns over exports of several items, especially drugs and pharmaceuticals, facing trade barriers in China.

India's trade deficit with China is expected to rise to $ 43 billion in 2012-13, up from $40 billion in the earlier fiscal.

The successful resolution of the border stand-off comes more than a month after India and Italy resolved through talks the issue of the return of two Italian marines to face trial in India for the killing of two Indian fishermen.



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