China committed to safeguard territorial integrity: Zhao Lijian

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DM Monitoring

BEIJING: China’s position on border related issues with India was clear and consistent and it was committed to safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and security as well as safeguarding peace and stability in the China-India border areas, a Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“China’s position on the border related issues is clear and consistent. We are committed to safeguarding our territorial sovereignty and security and safeguarding peace and stability in the border areas,” Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing held here while responding to Indian officials claims that China had moved an additional 5,000 troops to its disputed border areas with India.
He said the Chinese side been following the important consensus reached by the two leaders and strictly observing the agreements between the two countries, adding, “Now the China-India border area situation is overall stable and controllable.”
The spokesperson said the two countries had good border related mechanism and communication channels and added, “We are capable of resolving this related issues properly though dialogue and consultation.”
To another question, he said both the countries had established border related mechanisms and diplomatic channels. “This includes the communication between border troops, and between our diplomatic missions.”
According to reports, a border standoff between China and India was triggered by India’s construction of roads and air strips in the region.
Soldiers from both sides had been camped out in the Galwan Valley in the high-altitude Ladakh region, accusing each other of trespassing over the disputed border.
Both sides were digging defences and Chinese trucks have been moving equipment into the area.
The Indian government is implementing a plant to build 66 key roads along the Chinese border by 2022. One of these roads is near the Galwan valley that connects to Daulat Beg Oldi air base, which was inaugurated last October.
The Chinese and Indian troops have engaged in a growing number of brawls and other low-level clashes on their sprawling border, including a recent standoff at the Nathu La Pass which connects China’s Tibet and the Indian state of Sikkim.
China still claims about 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) of territory under New Delhi’s control.
Earlier, China on Tuesday welcomed the release of Taliban prisoners and reduction of fighting and violence in Afghanistan and said it was conducive to promoting intra-Afghan dialogue and realizing peace and stability.
“The Afghan people’s aim for peace and cessation of violence are more than anything,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing while commenting on release of Taliban prisoners by Afghan government.
He said the reduction in fighting and violence was also a shared aspiration of the regional countries and the international community.
Zhao Lijian said China welcomed and appreciated the release of Taliban prisoners and reduction of violence between the Afghan government and Taliban.
“It is conducive to promoting intra-Afghan dialogue and realizing peace and stability,” he added.
The spokesperson reiterated that China stood ready to work with international community to offer support and assistance to peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Yesterday, Afghanistan National Security Council’s spokesperson said the Afghan government had released 100 Taliban prisoners on May 25.
He also announced that the prisoners release would continue in batches of 100 daily until 2,000 prisoners were freed hoping it would eventually lead to a lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
A US-Taliban deal signed in February stipulated that the Afghan government would release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners while the Taliban would free about 1,000 Afghan security force personnel.
The prisoner swap is seen as a confidence-building move ahead of long-awaited peace talks between the government and Taliban.
According to the sources, the three-day ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr holidays will be extended for another week.