New Delhi,September 15,2015:-India and China will hold a flag meeting to end the latest impasse in the Burste region of Ladakh, even as Beijing denied that its troops were involved in any border face-off with the Indian Army.
A flag meeting was expected to be held on Monday, but it could not take place.
Indian Army sources remained tight-lipped about the proposed meeting of the local commanders, but it is expected to take place in the coming days. Incidentally, Burste is close to Daulat Beg Oldie, the recently-opened Border Personnel Meeting point in the region, as well as Chushul.
Trouble had erupted last week when Indian patrols objected to a watch tower being constructed by the Chinese troops in the area. There were reports that the structure was removed by the Indian troops after a “banner drill” in which the two sides reinforced their territorial controls by displaying a banner asking the patrols to back off.
China, however, insisted that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had not carried out any activities on Indian territory.
“According to my understanding, at present there is no situation of confrontation along the border,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“The Chinese army consistently carries out activities along the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control”.
Hong added that China “wish(ed) the Indian side has more clarity on this issue and earnestly works with the Chinese side to maintain peace and tranquility along the border and create a good atmosphere for the development of bilateral relations.”
While Indian and Chinese officials say there is no agreed-upon line in the area, with patrols routinely going up to their perceived claim lines, stand-offs have occurred when one side has sought to establish its claims by constructing structures on disputed territory.
Both sides were engaged in a three-week-long stand-off in Depsang – not far from the site of the current incident – after the PLA pitched a tent, reportedly in response to Indian construction of tin sheds, which were subsequently dismantled.
During his visit to China in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the Chinese side to consider resuming the stalled process of clarifying the differing perceptions of the LAC to avoid such incidents.
This followed further stand-offs in September of last year that took place just as President Xi Jinping was visiting Gujarat and New Delhi.
China has responded coolly to the suggestion, instead proposing a code of conduct that would limit activities by either side along the LAC.