China says situation at LAC “peaceful”, seeks another flag meeting

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Beijing: A Chinese spokesperson on Tuesday sought to play down the face-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) shared by India and China, saying the situation there was now peaceful.
The remarks by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying came amidst a continuing face-off between Indian and Chinese Army troops at Chumar, as well as at Demchok in Ladakh.
“We saw the relevant report. As I said twice before, both China and India have a common strong willingness and the sincerity to, through using all existing border-related mechanisms, achieve timely communication and effective control. As far as I know, the relevant situation has been controlled timely and effectively. The border area is peaceful,” Hua said, as per Reuters.
She also termed as “wild guess” reports in the Indian media that President Xi Jinping had asked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to improve its ability to win a regional war. She denied that the remarks 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,” Hua told a media briefing here when asked about the context of Xi’s remarks.
Xi yesterday asked the 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.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Army has asked for a flag meeting even as the Indian Army has been asked to be on the alert along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Chinese troops have intruded for the last more than 10 days.
The Chinese side has asked for the meeting and their request is under consideration, Army sources said here.
(Agencies)

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