New Delhi: A week ahead of new Chinese Premier Le Keqiang's visit to India, Beijing seems to be ensuring that the vexed boundary issue occupies centrestage. Chinese official sources have told NDTV that there is an urgent need to speed up border talks, citing the recent incident at Ladakh which, they say, could have spiralled out of control.
"We need to redouble efforts to push for framework settlement on boundary negotiations to reach a fair and mutually acceptable solution at an early date," Chinese spokesperson Qin Gang said.
Dubbing the incursion at Ladakh as an "isolated incident", sources in Beijing said they have "drawn many lessons" from the episode. Sources also added that the stand-off could have escalated, affecting bilateral ties but Beijing did not let it happen.
Chinese troops had set up camp in Ladakh, deep inside Indian territory, on April 15 and refused to vacate despite hectic military and diplomatic negotiations. Indian forces then set up tents just 500 metres away from the Chinese camp, even as the issue threatened to snowball into a major diplomatic row. The 20-day border stand-off finally ended on May 5 with both sides simultaneously withdrawing their troops from the Daulat Beg Oldie near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
The resolution of the issue also came just ahead of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's two-day visit to Beijing that had also come under a cloud.