Today's Paper

China rebuts Rajnath, says India violated agreements

On the guard:A convoy of Army vehicles moving towards the India-China border in Leh.Special Arrangement  

China on Wednesday blamed India for “violating” border agreements and said India bore responsibility for the recent tensions, a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that China had, by amassing troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) this summer, violated the 1993 and 1996 boundary agreements that have helped keep the peace along the border for years.

“The responsibility for the current situation does not lie with China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing, in response to a question on Mr. Singh’s statement.

Asked why China had not yet disengaged and withdrawn its troops to the status quo as of April, prior to its transgressions, Mr. Wang said: “The most urgent and important task is for the Indian side to immediately correct its wrong course of action, disengage on the ground as soon as possible, and take concrete actions to promote easing of the situation.”

“It is the Indian side that has violated the agreements, first trespassed, and first fired shots to threaten the safety of the Chinese border troops,” he said.

On the “five point consensus” reached on September 10 by the two Foreign Ministers in Moscow, he said China “hopes India will work with China to follow through on the agreement and other previously reached agreements, and put the border issue in an appropriate position in the bigger picture of China-India relations”.

On Wednesday, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported Chinese troops had last week “raised their combat readiness to the second-highest possible” level after the firing of warning shots on September 7 near the south bank of Pangong Lake.

The newspaper said “the alert was lowered after a meeting of the nations’ foreign ministers” in Moscow three days later.