October 30, 2014 / 10:49 AM / 5 years ago

China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts

China's President Xi Jinping (R) speaks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee during his ceremonial reception at the forecourt of India's Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace in New Delhi September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s defense ministry on Thursday expressed concern over reports that India plans to build 54 new border posts along their disputed border, long a source of tension between the two giant neighbors.

China defeated India in a brief war in 1962 and the border has remained unresolved since, despite 17 rounds of talks. The two armies cannot even agree on the location of the Line of Actual Control, the ceasefire line following the 1962 fighting, leading to face-offs between border patrols.

In September, India eased curbs on building roads and military facilities within 100 km (62 miles) of the contested border in its remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, so as to speed construction of 6,000 km (3,730 miles) of roads.

The move came as Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India, in an effort to defuse the deep distrust between both countries, despite growing trade and business ties.

Chinese defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Beijing had noticed Indian media reports that the South Asian nation planned to build 54 new border posts in Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as South Tibet.

“There is a dispute about the eastern part of the China-India border,” Yang told a monthly news briefing.

“We hope that the Indian side can work hard to maintain the peace and tranquillity of the border region, and not take any steps to complicate the situation,” he added.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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