NEW DELHI, Dec 2, Reuter: The Indian government said on Friday it knew of no violations of Chinese airspace by Indian aircraft as claimed by Peking.

An external Affairs Ministry spokesman in New Delhi acknowledged the Chinese Government had complained of intrusions but said it was not a formal protest and both sides were trying to play the issue down.

Responding to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement saying there had been several recent violations he told reporters: “We have received representations from the Chinese but we are not aware of any violations.”

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment on the affair which comes just three weeks before Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is due to visit Peking for a fence-mending visit.

China and India fought a brief border war in 1962 and have never resolved conflicting territorial claims. India says China is occupying

38,000 sq. km (14,000sq miles) of its territory on India’s northwestern border, while China claims 90,000 sq. km (35,000 sq. miles) of India’s Northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian Eastern air command headquarters at Shillong in Northeastern Meghalaya state, discounting the possibility of violations from its sector, said flying had been severely restricted in the past week because of bad weather.

Article extracted from this publication >> December 9, 1988