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China boosts air defenses in western region as Indian border row simmers

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According to Hong Kong-based and Alibaba Group-owned South China Morning Post, China and India were embroiled in a 72-day military face-off in the disputed Himalayan border area last summer, eventually agreeing to an "expeditious disengagement" of troops in late August. But reports since then have suggested that China has continued building roads at the border -- shared with India and Bhutan -- and military personnel from both sides are still stationed there.

China angered by Modi's visit to disputed border region

Beijing on Feb 15 expressed anger over a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the remote Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China also claims, saying New Delhi should avoid taking any action that might complicate the dispute.

China claims the region in the eastern Himalayas as "South Tibet", and has denounced Indian leaders' visits there as attempts to bolster India's claims to it.

"China's position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement carried by Xinhua.

"The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the disputed area," he said.

"We will lodge stern representations with the Indian side."

South China Morning Post pointed out that China and India have improved ties in recent years but there is still deep distrust over their long festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962. Last summer, troops from the two sides became embroiled in a months-long stand-off on the Doklam plateau, another disputed part of the border.

Geng said China and India had reached an important consensus on properly managing disputes, and the two sides were working to resolve their contested border through negotiation and consultation.

"The Chinese side urges the Indian side to honor its commitment and abide by the relevant consensus, and refrain from taking any action that may complicate the boundary question," he said.

Modi is expected to visit China in June for a summit of the Chinese and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization security bloc.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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