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No increase in Chinese incursions: Centre

December 10, 2009 23:05 IST

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Thursday said there has been no increase in the incidents of Chinese incursions recently and there are set mechanisms to deal with such disputes.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said there was bound to be confusion but "there is nothing to be unduly alarmed about."

"There has been no increase in the incidents of incursions in the recent past," he asserted. India and China, he said, have decided to "maintain peace and tranquility all through the border" till the boundary issue is sorted out.

On the issue of construction of roads and dams on the Chinese side, Krishna said, "The Chinese government is free to build infrastructure in their own territory as much as we in our territory are free to build infrastructure without external interference."

"Whenever there is a dispute, there is a mechanism which is brought into action so that it is amicably settled," he said.

Special representatives from the two nations have held 13 meetings to sort out differences and are due to meet again shortly, he said. Asked about China stamping visa on a separate sheet attached to passports of Jammu and Kashmir residents, Krishna said any travel document attached to the passport will not be recognised for traveling abroad.

The minister, however, did not give the actual number of Chinese incursions during the current year and of those in the previous year. Krishna said he would furnish the number later.

"We have taken a decision to the effect that unless there is a stamp on an Indian passport, any other document will not be recognised by immigration authorities," he said. China, he said, has accepted that Jammu and Kashmir was a disputed area between India and Pakistan and so the issue has to be settled bilaterally.

The government regularly takes up any violation along the Line of Actual Control with the Chinese side through established mechanisms including the Joint Working Group, Expert Group, border personnel meetings, flag meetings and diplomatic channels, he said.

"Whenever a reported incursion takes place on our border, there is an established mechanism with which the matter gets settled at field level itself," he said.

"The government considers the India-China boundary question a purely bilateral matter and does not advocate any discussion on this issue with other countries or international bodies," he added.

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