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China tells India to 'stay calm', 'stop over-interpreting' in border map row
China tells India to 'stay calm', 'stop over-interpreting' in border map row

New Delhi, Sep 3 : China has told India to "stay calm" over a new Chinese map that Delhi says lays claim to its territory, according to a media report.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Premier Li Qiang will attend instead. Mr Xi had earlier confirmed he would travel to Delhi for the meeting from 9-10 September - but China's foreign ministry would not confirm his attendance when asked to do so at a regular press briefing on Thursday.  Unidentified sources told Reuters news agency that he cancelled his plan over the map controversy. The BBC could not independently verify the claim.  India is not the only country to object to the map - on Thursday, the Philippines and Malaysia issued protests against China's claim of ownership over most of the South China Sea in the map. Taiwan - which China says is a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing's control - also objected to its inclusion in the map. 

A politician from Nepal also cancelled a visit to China, saying the new map did not take into account the country's revised map, which has already sparked tensions with India.  The escalation over the 2023 edition of China's standard national map comes just days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Xi spoke on the sidelines of the Brics summit in South Africa. 

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar called China's claim "absurd". An Indian official said afterwards that the two countries had agreed to "intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation" along the disputed border.  On Thursday China indicated it wasn't budging on the map - the disputed border is an issue which has bedevilled relations for years.  "It is a routine practice in China's exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law," foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.  "We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue."

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