Blame game as border talks come to nothing

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 12 Oct 2021

Officials in Beijing and New Delhi yesterday blamed each other for the failure of talks to ease tensions along their disputed Himalayan border.

A river valley between Tibet and India's Ladakh region became a high-altitude flashpoint last year after one of the deadliest troop clashes in decades.

Now, senior military officials from the two countries have ended their first talks in two months without progress.

India made "unreasonable and unrealistic demands," Chinese spokesman Long Shaohua said through the People's Liberation Army's western command.

In response, India's defense ministry said China was "not agreeable" to discussing "constructive suggestions."

The countries, whose border runs for 3,500 kilometers, fought a full-scale war in 1962 and have long accused each other of trying to seize territory along what is known as the Line of Actual Control.

Long said China had tried to ease tensions and warned India "not to misjudge the situation." India countered that there had been unilateral moves by China to "alter the status quo."

Earlier this month India's army chief said China was sending "considerable numbers" of troops to the border, prompting a matching deployment by New Delhi. His comments came days after Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying claimed Indian soldiers made incursions into Chinese territory.

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