Xi tells Tibetan herdsmen to 'set down roots' near India border
Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping has told herdsmen in Tibet to "set down roots" near the Sino-India border and safeguard Chinese territory.
In a reply to a letter by two girls from a family who wrote to Xi introducing their township in Lhunze county in Tibet, Xi told them to develop settlements and stay put in the area bordering India.
Situated in southwest China's Tibet, Lhunzhe is close to India's Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own and calls South Tibet.
He encouraged a herding family to set down roots in the border area, safeguard the Chinese territory and develop their hometown, according to a short dispatch from Xinhua news agency.
Xi acknowledged the family's efforts to safeguard the territory and thanked them for the loyalty and contributions they have made in the border area, the report said.
"Without peace in the territory, there will be no peaceful lives for the millions of families," Xi was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
He hoped that the family would motivate more herders to set down roots in the border area and become guardians of the Chinese territory and constructors of a happy hometown.
In August, Indian and Chinese armies ended an over-two-month military stand-off - worst in decades - in the Sikkim sector which abuts Tibet.
During the face-off, China sent battle tanks and conducted military drills in the Tibetan plateau.
India and China have a dragging boundary dispute over the 3,488 km de facto boundary. The two fought a brief but bloody war in 1962.
After being re-elected the General Secretary of the Communist Party last week, Xi asked the Chinese Army to be combat-ready.
In his inaugural speech at the meet, Xi said China was ready to settle its border dispute with neighbours but it cannot be expected to swallow everything which undermines its and integrity and sovereignty.