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No stand-off at Sino-Indian border: China

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Beijing: There was no stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the border, China said. Such news is “harmful to the relationship” between the two countries, experts said.

picture from- indiaopines.com
picture from- indiaopines.com

China on Monday said there was no stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the border area following Indian media reports which said Indian troops demolished a China constructed watch tower.

“As far as I know, there is no such ‘face-off’ between China and India in the border area,” Hong Lei, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying on Monday.

He said China is committed to maintaining the peace and tranquility at the border and hoped India could clarify the related matter and work with China.

“This is not the first time that Indian media has reported ‘confrontations’ that do not exist in the Sino-Indian border area. These news are often untrue, negative, misleading and aimed at provoking public opinion, and are harmful to the relationship between China and India,” Global Times quoted Jiang Jingkui, director of the Department of South Asian Languages at Peking University, as saying.

“There is a certain group of people, including the military, who are hostile towards China. Unlike the Indian government and local citizens who are supportive of Sino-Indian relations and peaceful development, they believe that a war with China is inevitable as they want to avenge the Sino-Indian confrontation that took place in 1962,” added Jiang.

He said such media accusations are unreasonable as Chinese troops have never intruded Indian border.

Sino-Indian relations are enjoying a sound momentum of development, Hong said. The significant consensus reached between leaders of both sides on maintaining peace and tranquility of the border area serves as an important guarantee for the sustainable development of bilateral relations, he added.

Hong hoped that India will bear the big picture of bilateral ties in mind, and safeguard peace of the border area so as to create a favorable environment for the development of bilateral relations.

Jiang said the ties between the two countries are stable, because the leaders of both countries focus more on cooperation than confrontations.

“This is just a minor incident. With China’s Belt and Road Initiative which requires cooperation, Sino-Indian relationship will continue to develop peacefully as India will also benefit from the scheme,” he said.

(IANS)

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U.S.- Canada Show a United Front During Huawei Tech Executive’s Trial

Canada’s Foreign Ministry said Canadian officials were granted consular access Friday to one of the detainees and they are still trying to contact the second.

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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington. VOA

The United States and Canada promised a fair judicial process for a Chinese tech executive who was arrested earlier this month in Canada.

In talks at the State Department on Friday, the U.S. and Canadian foreign and defense ministers put on a united front, following a growing diplomatic dispute between the United States and China, in which Canada finds itself in the middle.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland defended her country’s detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, saying it was “not a political decision,” but “a matter of following the rules.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was also “respecting the rule of law each step along the way” as it seeks Meng.

Canada arrested Meng at the request of the United States, which says Huawei violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. She has been released on bail and is awaiting possible extradition to the United States.

Huawei, China, Canada
A man lights a cigarette outside a Huawei retail shop in Beijing. VOA

Disagreement with Trump

Freeland implicitly pushed back against recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said the case could be used as part of wider trade negotiations with Beijing.

“It is also very important for Canada that extradition agreements are not to be used for political purposes,” she said. “Canada does not do it that way and I believe it is obvious that democratic countries, such as our partners in the United States, do the same.”

Freeland also said she was extremely concerned about the fate of two Canadians — businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig — who were detained in China this week, in what is widely seen as a case of retaliation against Canada’s detention of Meng.

Huawei, China, Trump, Canada
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer, is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters. VOA

“For me and the prime minister, there are no issues that touch us more personally and immediately than the detention of Canadians outside our country,” Freeland said, adding, “This is a huge priority for our government.”

Canadians ‘ought to be returned’

Secretary of State Pompeo called China’s detention of the Canadian citizens “unacceptable” and said that they “ought to be returned.”

China’s foreign ministry says the Canadian citizens are each being investigated on suspicion of violating China’s national security laws. Analysts and rights groups have called those laws powerful and vague.

In a statement Saturday, the International Crisis Group called for the immediate release of Kovrig, who is their senior expert for North East Asia, based in Hong Kong. The group said Kovrig had always worked transparently and constructively with Chinese authorities.

Mike Pompeo, USA, Canada
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters, Dec. 12, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. VOA

“The real danger to China comes from Michael’s arbitrary arrest and detention, for these will have a chilling effect on people wanting to visit and engage with the country,” said Crisis Group president and CEO Robert Malley.

The statement also noted that since Kovrig had been a Canadian diplomat in China between 2014 and 2016, “diplomatic missions around the globe should be concerned by the suggestion that normal diplomatic work could be grounds for future detention.

Also Read: As Huawei CFO Gets Released On a Bail, Trump Suggests a Trade Deal With China

Canada’s Foreign Ministry said Canadian officials were granted consular access Friday to one of the detainees and they are still trying to contact the second. The Crisis Group confirmed that the Canadian ambassador in Beijing has been able to visit Kovrig. (VOA)