India ‘watching’ developments near the LAC, says Ministry of External Affairs

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says the ‘right step’ is disengagement

July 21, 2022 10:45 pm | Updated 10:45 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Army vehicles moving towards Line of Actual Control amid border tension with China. File. Image for representation.

Army vehicles moving towards Line of Actual Control amid border tension with China. File. Image for representation. | Photo Credit: PTI

India is keeping a “relentless watch” on the developments near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and will take “necessary measures” to deal with steps that may affect India’s security. Addressing the weekly press briefing, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said resolving the issues along the LAC in the western sector would help India-China relation.

Also read:China steps up LAC air drills as talks stall

“We had issued after the recent commander level talks, a statement — actually a joint statement — from both sides, wherein they talked about the importance of moving ahead and implement some of the agreements and understandings they have reached. They talked about frank and in-depth exchange of views and they talked about the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest as per guidance provided by the state leaders,” said Mr. Bagchi.

“Of course, our point is, if you can resolve the issues, particularly on disengagement that would help in the de-escalation and restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the western sector, that would be the right step towards enabling progress in the bilateral relation,” said Mr. Bagchi presenting the Indian “view” of the bilateral relation with China.

He refused to respond to the report published in the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong about Beijing building a highway near Ladakh. The highway from Lhunze county in Tibet to Mazha in Xinjiang in western China is among the 345 construction projects that are part of the proposed new national programme of China, the newspaper had reported.

Mr. Bagchi’s comments came after the 16th round of military-level talks that was the latest in a long chain of conversation between the military representatives of both sides since the deadly clashes of June 2020 at Galwan. Apart from the report of the construction of a new highway near the western sector of the LAC, there are also latest reports that China has settled personnel in villages near the Doklam region in the trijunction of India-Bhutan and Tibet. Mr. Bagchi declined to get into the specifics of the report on Doklam but said India was “watching” and would take necessary measures. “India maintains a relentless watch on steps that can hurt India’s security and will take necessary actions,” said Mr. Bagchi.

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