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Chinese build-up started in May: MEA

Marching forward:Indian soldiers patrollingthe foothills of a mountain range near Leh.AFP

Marching forward:Indian soldiers patrollingthe foothills of a mountain range near Leh.AFP  

Spokesperson says the conduct of Chinese forces at LAC has been against all mutually agreed norms

China had been “amassing” troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for nearly two months, the government said on Thursday and accused the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of violating the 1993 agreement between India and China that committed both sides to “minimum levels” of deployment.

This is the first time the government has formally acknowledged the scale of the build-up along the LAC since early May, and is a departure from previous statements that attributed the tensions to a “difference in perception” of the LAC.

The government also made it clear that it believes the PLA movement in the summer of 2020 has been different from past years.

“The conduct of Chinese forces this year has been in complete disregard of all mutually agreed norms,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in a media briefing.

Placing the blame for the increase in tensions and casualties on June 15 squarely on “Chinese actions”, the government called on China to restore “peace and tranquillity” by implementing the June 6 disengagement plan agreed to by military commanders, as peace at the border is the “basis” of the India-China bilateral relationship.

“A continuation of the current situation would only vitiate the atmosphere for the development of the relationship,” the spokesperson warned.

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