PEKING, June 16, Reuter: China has told India to withdraw soldiers who crossed the Sino Indian border if it wants to ease tension in the area and to stay out of Sri Lanka, the New China news agency said today.

It quoted China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Shuging as telling visiting Indian Foreign Minister Narain Dutt Tiwari yesterday.

“The only way to avoid unpleasant incidents and ease the tensions along some sections of the border is for India to withdraw its military personnel who have crossed the line of actual control”

The line dividing China and India’s Arunchal Pradesh State was drawn up by Sir Arthur McMahon, Foreign Secretary of British India, in 1914 and has never been accepted by China.

Liu said that before negotiations started on defining the boundary the two sides should strictly observe the line of actual control.

Indian army officers said this month that Indian forces had encircled Chinese units making cross border forays and unleashed a barrage of loudspeaker warnings to them to withdraw.

Chinese troops had answered with their own loudspeaker warnings, leading to exchanges up to a week long, they said.

Both China and India deny fighting has taken place in the remote Himalayan frontier region.

The agency quoted Tiwari as saying India wished to get rid of past misunderstanding and doubt and to resume friendly relations with China.

“Outstanding problems between the two countries should be resolved through peaceful negotiations and friendly consultations”, Tiwari said.

“Before a complete settlement of the boundary question, the two countries should avoid conflicts in the border areas”.

The agency reported the ministers as saying that the two countries agreed that to improve and develop friendly cooperation was “not only a common wish of the two people but also of great significance for peace in Asia and the world”.

It quoted Liu as saying: “The nationality issue of Sri Lanka, which is an internal affair of that country, should be properly resolved by Sri Lanka alone and brooks no interference by other countries”.

China maintains close relations with Sri Lanka, which denounced as an outrage and a violation of its sovereignty India’s sending transport planes and fighters into Sri Lankan airspace on June 4 to drop 25 tonnes of supplies over Jaffna.

But Colombo announced yesterday it had agreed to let unarmed Indian vessels bring supplies for Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula, with the supplies escorted, unloaded and distributed under the super vision of the Sri Lankan government.

Tiwari also met China’s acting Premier Wan Li yesterday. The People’s Daily quoted Wan as telling him that the boundary question should be settled “through friendly consultations, mutual consideration and accommodation”.

The Indian embassy in Peking had no immediate comment on the Chinese press reports of Tiwari’s meetings.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 19, 1987