China says to beef up patrols along Indian border

FILE PHOTO: A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday that it would beef up patrols along a disputed stretch of its border with India but would also “adjust” deployments, after the two countries ended a more than two-month standoff.

Indian and Chinese troops had been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan and China in the most serious and prolonged standoff in decades.

The trouble started in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, known in China as Donglang, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and Bhutan.

India said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity there was a threat to the security of its own northeast region.

“The Chinese military will continue to carry out its mission and responsibilities, strengthen its patrols and garrisons in the Donglang area and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security,” Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqing said.

“In light of the changes in the situation on the ground, Chinese border forces will carry out adjustments to deployments,” Ren told a monthly news briefing, without elaborating.

Neither country has offered explicit details of the terms of disengagement from the area which had raised fears of a wider conflict between the Asian giants who fought a brief border war in 1962.

The ending of the stand-off comes ahead of a weekend summit in China of the BRICS nations, that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel