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Apr 26, 2013 at 12:47pm IST

China softens stand, hopes border issue 'won't affect relations'

New Delhi: It is still not clear whether the flag meeting India requested China to resolve the impasse will take place on Friday or not. But China does seem to be softening its stand and is talking about the need for friendly relations between neighbours.

"I would also like to stress that China and India are neighbours. Since the border line is not drawn, problems of one kind or another will inevitably arise. When problems do arise, the two sides should properly resolve them through the existing mechanisms and through friendly negotiation. We believe that this case will get a proper and friendly solution, and won't affect the peace and stability in the border region between India and China, nor will it affect relations between China and India," said Hua Chunying, spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be visiting China on May 9 and is hopeful the impasse would be resolved through dialogue and despite the failure of the last two flag meets, Delhi is seeking another one with Beijing. China, however, has yet not replied to India's demand for a third flag meeting.

At the moment, the Army has been told to keep an eye on the movement of Chinese troops and adopt a "non-aggressive approach" in the area but if the PLA increases its troops size, the force will also increase its numbers there, the sources said.

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Around 30 Chinese troops are based in two locations including a tented area and another place where the soldiers of the two sides are facing each other with banners in their hands, they said.

The sources said the Chinese troops are from the Border Defence Regiment of the PLA which is located 25 kms north of the location where they have erected their tents. The Chinese side, they said, is believed to be getting its supplies from its parent unit through the Raki Nala which flows from Chinese side into the Indian side.

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The Chinese troops are armed with assault rifles and no heavy weapon has been seen so far with them. They also have two small vehicles for supporting their movement, the sources said.

They said the Indian side may seek a flag meeting with the Chinese but so far it has not been decided. The two sides have already had two rounds of flag meetings without any success as the Chinese troops have not yet left from there.

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(With Additional Inputs From PTI)

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