M A I N   N E W S

LAC tussle over, Khurshid to visit Beijing on May 9
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, May 6
Denying that a deal had been struck with China to end the tense border standoff, the government today announced that External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would visit Beijing on May 9-10 to prepare the ground for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s trip to New Delhi on May 20.

Government sources said around 50 Chinese soldiers had withdrawn from the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in Ladakh and pulled down their tents close to an Indian military airstrip in line with an agreement reached last evening between India and China. Today, the two sides simultaneously announced in New Delhi and Beijing an end to their 20-day tense stand-off, which threatened to seriously dent their improving relationship.

“The governments of India and China have agreed to restore status quo ante along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China boundary as it existed prior to April 15,” MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said in a brief statement here.

In Beijing, Chinese spokesperson Hua Chunying said the ‘standoff incident’ with India had been resolved through ‘fruitful consultations’ while expressing China’s readiness to join hands with New Delhi to seek a mutually acceptable and fair solution to the border issue at an early date.

Defence Minister AK Antony refused to say anything on the issue. Both the MEA and the Defence Ministry also would not spell out the details of the agreement reached with China to compel it to withdraw its troops. Officials were only willing to say that the channels of communication with Beijing were kept open all through the three weeks’ stalemate. Intense pressure was maintained on Beijing to see reason in India’s demand. However, no promises were made to China and no deal was struck. 

Pressure worked

It is learnt that New Delhi’s threat to put on hold Khurshid’s visit, which would have obviously meant that the Chinese Premier would not be welcome in New Delhi, could have forced Beijing to reconsider its strategy on the border standoff 





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