Chinese troops withdraw from India border as Xi visit ends

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During his visit, Xi pledged greater investment from China, already India’s biggest trading partner, with annual two-way commerce of more than $65 billion

Chinese troops have begun pulling back from the disputed border with India, sources said Friday, as President Xi Jinping wrapped up a rare summit in New Delhi overshadowed by the stand-off at the remote frontier.

The row over an alleged incursion by hundreds of Chinese troops into territory claimed by India has dominated Xi’s visit, intended to reset ties between Asia’s two superpowers after the election of a new Indian government this year.

The two countries have long been embroiled in a bitter dispute over their border, with both sides regularly accusing soldiers of crossing over into the other’s territory.

As Xi arrived in India on Wednesday, reports said 1,000 Chinese soldiers had entered a disputed area in the mountainous northern Ladakh region, sparking a stand-off with Indian troops.

Analysts said the reported incursions were likely timed to fire a shot across the bows of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has signalled he will take a harder line on what he termed Chinese “expansionism”.

On Friday, a local lawmaker said the troops had begun pulling back, confirming a report by the Press Trust of India news agency.

“The Chinese troops have started going back,” the lawmaker said on condition of anonymity.

“The Indian soldiers are also retreating, but they will continue their vigil,” he said.

India’s Defence Ministry refused to comment on the report.

Investment boost

Xi, the first Chinese president to visit India in eight years, said after talks with Modi on Thursday that Beijing was committed to working with New Delhi to maintain “peace and tranquillity” until the border issue could be settled.

Modi said he had expressed his concerns to the president, and that peace on the border was “the foundation for good relations”.

During his visit, Xi pledged greater investment from China, already India’s biggest trading partner, with annual two-way commerce of more than $65 billion.

He said China, which built the world’s largest high-speed rail system from scratch in less than a decade, would look to develop faster train lines in India and build industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra states.

India has been pushing for more investment to narrow the trade deficit with China, which has soared to more than $40 billion from just $1 billion in 2001-02.

Modi is eager to secure Chinese funding to fulfil his election pledge to overhaul his country’s crumbling infrastructure, which has held back economic growth in the country of 1.2 billion people.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It would be worthwhile for Mr.Modi to remember history and not get too cozy with China. These public demonstrations of friendship and camaraderie has a very unsettling resemblance to a similar public display between Prime Minister Nehru and Zhou En Lai of China before leading up to the 1962 India-China war. Chinese will repeat that history in a heartbeat to put India in its place.

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