BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- China called again for calm and restraint from both Cambodia and Thailand on Thursday to prevent an escalation of border tensions between the two southeast Asian countries.
"Cambodia and Thailand are China's friendly neighbors. After clashes broke out, China has maintained close contact with the two sides and has persuaded them to resolve disputes through consultation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said at a regular news briefing.
As to the United Nations Security Council meeting on Feb. 14 to discuss the border dispute and Cambodia's call for UN peacekeepers to the border region, Ma said: "we are aware of the reports and will keep in touch with the relevant parties."
The Feb. 4-7 clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops over the border disputed areas near the Preah Vihear Temple has reportedly killed at least eight Cambodian and three Thai soldiers, wounding many more, and forcing tens of thousands of villagers to flee.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-square-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.