India won't confront China on incursions

June 11, 2008 at 7:43 AM
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NEW DELHI, June 11 (UPI) -- India Tuesday said it would follow a non-confrontational approach toward its neighbors, including China, in regard to border disputes.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony, while responding to recent reports of Chinese incursions and Beijing's claims over chunks of Indian territory, said: "We are not ignoring (incidents of incursion). To a maximum extent, we will try to avoid confrontation."

There have been more than 150 incursions into Indian territory by China's People's Liberation Army troops in the last year. Beijing also has staked claims on Indian territory, including the recent controversy over the Finger Area in north Sikkim, which was considered settled by both sides, a Defense Ministry official said.

"We are in the process of finding solutions to the long-standing disputes with China, and the process is continuing," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.

He said the ruling United Progressive Alliance government will not compromise on national interest and security. The minister said the armed forces were ready to meet any challenge.

"There is a national consensus for a dialogue with China, and the 11th round of the talks was held recently. It will only be appropriate to find solutions through dialogue. At the same time, national security will not be compromised," Antony said.

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