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Chinese and Indian troops in Himalayan standoff

Chinese and Indian troops in Himalayan standoff

Mumbai: Hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops have dug into positions on a high Himalayan plateau, leading India's army chief to cancel a foreign trip and monitor a standoff that underscores deep differences between the Asian giants as they seek closer ties, a Reuters report said on Tuesday.

The report, quoting military officials in New Delhi and Kashmir, said that Chinese troops set up a camp about 3 km (2 miles) into territory claimed by India in the Chumar region of the Ladakh plateau more than a week ago.

Indian soldiers have set up their own base nearby and have been told not to back down, the report quoted officials.

Asked about the standoff, China's Ministry of Defence said the two sides' understanding of the line of the border was not the same.

"The two countries' border, to this day, has not been designated," the ministry said in a faxed statement, adding that the Chinese military respected pacts signed by both countries.

"Both sides, if problems occur in the border area, can reach an appropriate resolution through dialogue and consultation."

India has deployed about 1,500 troops in the Chumar area and there are about 800 Chinese soldiers, an Indian government official said. The two sides are not in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation and are well separated from each other, he added.

The alleged incursion by Chinese troops into territory claimed by India dominated a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, overshadowing his pledges to invest $20 billion over five years and a bid to warm personal ties with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After a summit between Modi and Xi on Friday, the soldiers pulled back from a face-to-face confrontation to take up more distant positions.

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