'Mechanisms in place to defuse Indo-China border tensions': Ex-foreign secretary

Representative image. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Delhi, India Sep 14, 2018, 06.39 PM (IST)

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran on Friday said that there were mechanisms in place to initiate a dialogue between the Indian and Chinese military on different levels to defuse tensions that arise due to border issues.

His comments come in the wake of reports that China's People Liberation Army (PLA) had transgressed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at least thrice last month in Uttarakhand.

Saran said, "There are mechanisms to initiate dialogue, one is border meetings between the Indian and Chinese troops deployed at the border. If the matter cannot be solved there, it can be taken up to a higher level as well, all the way up to the Defence Ministry."

The former top diplomat added, "We share a long border with China these incidents (border transgressions) are bound to happen at some places. But there are mechanisms in place to manage such situations. I don't know what happened in these incidents if any talks were held by the two sides or not, but these mechanisms can and should be used."

Sources told ANI that the PLA crossed over into India at least three times in the month of August, with the troops venturing as far as four kilometres in Barahoti village in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district.

Similar incidents occurred in July last year when Chinese troops ventured up to a kilometre into the Indian Territory in Barahoti. This area also witnessed aerial transgressions and infiltration by foot patrols in 2013 and 2014.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, refuted the reports, with spokesperson Geng Shuang saying that the PLA has always operated on the Chinese side of the LAC. 

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Saran said, 'there are mechanisms to initiate dialogue, one is border meetings between the Indian and Chinese troops deployed at the border'.