New Delhi: The Chinese Army on Tuesday asked for a flag meeting with the Indian side as the standoff in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) entered Day 12. Sources in the Indian Army said that their request was under consideration.
The Chinese troops have made repeated incursions into the Chumar sector of Ladakh over the past two weeks, despite India raising the issue during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to New Delhi last week.
In fact, despite the talks, Jinping, upon his return, reportedly told his army to prepare for 'regional war'. "Headquarters of all PLA forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology," Xi was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
On Saturday, over 50 Chinese soldiers entered Chumar, days after 100 troops were reported to have crossed into Indian territory. Sources said that the two sides were maintaining a distance of just 200 metres from each other in Demchok, another standoff point in Ladakh. The standoff took a new turn on Sunday with the Chinese troops pitching seven tents well within the Indian territory and showing no signs of withdrawing from the territory.
India, however, has played down the issue. The External Affairs Ministry (MEA) on Tuesday said that the matter was being handled by diplomats from both the sides.
"Issues on the border are best handled by those who are placed there. Issues related to events on the borders have been take n up at different levels. Diplomacy is at work," MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in fact, asked all Indians to repose faith in China. "We must have trust in China's understanding and have faith that it would conform to global laws and will play its role in cooperating and moving forward," he said in an exclusive interview to CNN last week.
With inputs from PTI