China questions India’s account of LAC tensions

Indian Army says on Aug. 29 night, PLA violated previous agreements

September 01, 2020 01:43 pm | Updated 07:51 pm IST

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a press conference at the Institute for International Relations in Paris on Sunday. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in France as part of a five-country trip to Europe, his first since the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a press conference at the Institute for International Relations in Paris on Sunday. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in France as part of a five-country trip to Europe, his first since the coronavirus pandemic.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused India of “breaking earlier consensus” and called for India to “immediately withdraw its troops” in statements issued in Beijing and New Delhi that questioned India’s account of the latest tensions.

Also read: Brigadier-level talks between India and China continue at Chushul

The Indian Army said on Monday that on August 29 night, the PLA violated previous agreements and carried out “provocative” military movements to change the status quo. To pre-empt these moves, India undertook measures “to strengthen our positions”.

India has maintained that it carried out these measures on its side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control), near the south bank of Pangong Tso lake. In May, China crossed the LAC on the north bank, and has since entrenched its positions 8 km into India’s side. Chinese troops have also crossed the LAC in the Depsang plains in the north and in the Gogra-Hot Springs area.

“The Indian side’s statement may be different from the Chinese side’s but there is only one truth and fact,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “China has never provoked any war or conflict and never occupied an inch of other country’s territory.”

Also read | China controls 1,000 sq. km of area in Ladakh

Embassy statement

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Delhi said, “On August 31, Indian troops violated the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations between China and India, illegally trespassed the Line of Actual Control again at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake and near the Reqin Pass in the western sector of China-India border, and conducted flagrant provocations, which again stirred tension in the border areas.”

The statement, issued by spokesperson Ji Rong, said India’s “move has grossly violated China's territorial sovereignty, seriously violated relevant agreements, protocols and important consensus reached between the two countries, and severely damaged peace and tranquillity along the China-India border areas.”

Also read: LAC standoff | Completing disengagement will require reciprocal actions, says India

The statement said, “What India has done runs counter to the efforts made by both sides for a period of time to ease and cool down the situation on the ground, and China is resolutely opposed to this. China has made solemn representations to the Indian side, urged the Indian side to strictly control and restrain its frontline troops, earnestly honour its commitments, immediately stop all the provocative actions, immediately withdraw its troops illegally trespassing the Line of Actual Control, immediately stop any actions leading to the escalation and complication of the situation.”

Wang’s assertion

On Tuesday, China also released remarks made by its Foreign Minister Wang Yi following a speech on Sunday during an official visit to France, saying Beijing “will not be the first to complicate or escalate the situation” along the LAC.

Also read: Prepared for long haul and to meet any challenge along LAC: CDS

Mr. Wang said because “the boundary between China and India has not yet been demarcated, there will always be problems of this kind.” On recent developments on the border, he said, “What I want to tell you is that China has always been committed to maintaining stability in the Sino-Indian border areas. We will not take be the first to complicate or escalate the situation. Of course, we will firmly safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

China was “ready to manage all issues through dialogue” and called on India to “place the issues in an appropriate position in the bilateral relationship,” he stated.

“Differences should be managed and controlled, and in particular, differences should not escalate into conflict,” he said. Prime Minister Modi and President Xi had in their many meetings “reached many important consensus”, including that “bilateral cooperation outweighs differences and common interests outweighs conflicts,” he added.

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