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Chinese Envoy’s Remarks Upsets India

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The onus for resolving the border standoff in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control is “not on China”, the Chinese envoy has said, even as he accused Indian troops of crossing the disputed border and triggering a violent clash on June 15.

Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong made the assertions in a signed article in the latest issue of his embassy’s magazine, China-India Review, which was posted online late on Wednesday night.

Referring to the June 15 clash in Galwan Valley that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unspecified Chinese casualties and the issue of resolving the dispute and managing differences, Sun wrote: “If one analyses this incident carefully, it’s quite clear that the onus is not on China. The Indian side crossed the LAC for provocation and attacked the Chinese border troops.

“The Indian forces seriously violated agreements on border issues between the two countries and severely violated basic norms governing international relations.”

Sun contended the clash was “completely instigated by the Indian side and the responsibility does not lie with the Chinese side”. He reiterated China’s position that the June 15 incident “happened on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the Indian side crossed the LAC first”, and the “Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the LAC”.

Sun’s remarks – which came on the eve of the standoff completing 100 days, as the first clash between the border troops occurred on May 5 – are unlikely to go down well with the Indian government.

The external affairs ministry had in June rejected the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s claim of sovereignty over Galwan Valley as “exaggerated and untenable”. And while the Chinese side has sought to convey a picture of progress in the disengagement and de-escalation process along the LAC and even said disengagement has been completed at most points, the Indian side has asserted the procedure is far from complete.

India has also called on the Chinese side to deliver on its commitments made during meetings of corps commanders and a conversation between the Special Representatives on the border issue on the issue of disengagement.

There was no immediate reaction from Indian officials to the Chinese envoy’s article.

Despite India’s assertions in recent weeks that its troops didn’t cross the LAC and that their patrolling had been hampered by Chinese forces since April, the Chinese envoy sought to blame the entire standoff on the Indian side.

“The two sides basically have kept the peace for decades. However, since the beginning of this year, the Indian side has continuously built facilities at or crossing the LAC in the Galwan Valley, constantly changing the status quo of ground control,” he wrote.

“On May 6, the Indian border troops crossed the LAC in the Galwan Valley by night and trespassed into China’s territory. They resorted to violent means to create a standoff between the two sides and built infrastructures in an attempt to maintain a permanent presence. Second, the Indian side violated the consensus and started provocation, which led to the escalation of the situation,” he added.

Sun wrote that at a meeting of the corps commander on June 6, the Indian side “promised that they would not cross the estuary of the Galwan river to patrol and build facilities, and the two sides agreed to build observation posts on either side of the Galwan river mouth”.

He alleged that “Indian border troops copped out on the consensus reached in the commander-level meeting” and “again crossed the line for provocations, which triggered the conflict”.

“At present, the overall situation in the China-India border areas is stable and controllable. We hope the Indian side meet the Chinese side halfway, avoid taking actions that may complicate the border situation and take concrete actions to maintain stability in the border areas,” Sun wrote.

The magazine has several articles giving the Chinese side of the standoff and one that criticises the Indian government’s ban on nearly 60 Chinese-origin mobile phone applications.

Courtesy – hindustantimes

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