India agrees to some Chinese demands to end Himalaya standoff

SRINAGAR, India Tue May 7, 2013 4:29pm IST

SRINAGAR, India May 7 (Reuters) - India has agreed to a Chinese demand to demolish bunkers near their de facto border in the Himalayas, Indian military officials said, as part of a deal to end a standoff that threatened to scupper slowly improving relations.

Indian and Chinese soldiers faced off 100 metres (330 feet) apart on a plateau near the Karakoram mountain range, where they fought a war 50 years ago, for three weeks until they reached a deal on Sunday for both sides to withdrew.

The tension had threatened to overshadow a visit by the Indian foreign minister to Beijing on May 9. China's Premier Li Keqiang is expected to visit India later this month.

Details of the deal have not been made public but a senior official from the Indian army's northern command said India had agreed to abandon and destroy bunkers in the Chumar sector, further south along the disputed border.

"The bunkers in Chumar were dismantled after we acceded to Chinese demand in the last flag meeting. These bunkers were live-in bunkers," the army officer told Reuters on Tuesday.

India said up to 50 Chinese soldiers intruded into its territory on the western rim of the Himalayas on April 15. Some Indian officials and experts believed the incursion signalled Chinese concern about increased Indian activity in the area.

India said the Chinese soldiers were 19 km (12 miles) beyond the point it understands to be the border in the Ladakh region of Kashmir, a vaguely defined line called the Line of Actual Control, which neither side agrees on.

China denied it had crossed into Indian territory.

China won the border war they fought in 1962, which soured relations for decades, but ties between the Asian giants have been improving in recent years. China is India's top trade partner.

India has been beefing up its military presence for several years on the remote Ladakh plateau, building roads and runways to catch up with Chinese development across the border in a disputed area known as Aksai Chin

The decision to agree to the Chinese demand and demolish the bunkers followed heavy criticism of the Indian government over its handling of the incident by the opposition.

The Indian officer said earlier that Chinese officers demanded that India stop construction of bunkers, tunnels and huts along the Line of Actual Control, as the vaguely defined border in place since the 1962 war is known.

They also objected to nomads crossing from India to grazing meadows on the Chinese side, the Indian army officer said.

An official in India's Defence Ministry said on Monday the deal to end the standoff as a "quid pro quo" and said China had also demanded India take down listening and observation posts in the Chumar area, which is close to a Chinese road through Tibet.

It was not clear if India was dismantling those posts. (Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in SRINAGAR; Additional reporting by Nigam Prusty; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Shares Hit Record

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

Sensex surges 500 points on BOJ easing, L&T gains

The BSE Sensex and Nifty surged to record highs for a second consecutive session on Friday after Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive stimulus programme raised hopes for additional foreign inflows, boosting blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Wilful Negligence?

Wilful Negligence?

SEBI piles pressure on Sahara to sell overseas hotels  Full Article 

Indian Economy

Indian Economy

India's fiscal deficit in H1 almost 83 pct of full-year target.  Full Article 

M&M Earnings

M&M Earnings

M&M Q2 net profit down 4 percent, hit by poor monsoon.  Full Article 

Ban on E-Cigs?

Ban on E-Cigs?

Govt considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes.  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Silver futures in India hit four-year low on global cues.  Full Article 

BOJ Policy

BOJ Policy

BOJ shocks markets with surprise easing as inflation slows.  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage