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India Contests Chinese Claims of Ladakh Disengagement

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China’s Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, on Thursday addressed a webinar on India-China relations. The webinar was titled ‘India-China Relations: The Way Forward’.

Pinning the blame squarely on India, the Chinese envoy said that they are not to blame for the Galwan valley incident of June 15.

“China and India have signed a number of protocols to abide by. Clearly the Chinese troops always patrol on the Chinese side and not across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). That is very clear that the right and wrong of these incidents and frictions are very clear. It was the Indian side that first went across the line and violently attacked Chinese officers and soldiers,” said the Chinese envoy.

When asked about the perception of the LAC and the Chinese have violated the understanding he alluded to New Delhi “unilaterally” deciding on the perceptions which is far from the truth since there are five agreements that have been signed between the two countries since 1996.

He said, “One side has unilaterally put its own side of the LAC during the negotiations. That will create new disputes and that’s why this process cannot move on. That itself is a departure from the purpose of defining the LAC. Before we can solve this problem, we need to maintain peace and tranquility at the border.”

On the situation at the border he said, “with the joint efforts of both sides, the border troops have disengaged in most localities. The situation on the ground is de-escalating and the temperature is coming down.”

But the Indian side differed on the ground realities. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava sai during his weekly briefing of Thursday, “There has been some progress made towards this objective but the disengagement process has as yet not been completed. The Senior Commanders of the two sides will be meeting in the near future to work out steps in this regard.”

Ambassador Sun Weidong said that China has never claimed any territory which is not theirs rejecting the label of “expansionist”.

“China firmly upholds its sovereignty & meanwhile will never engage in aggression or expansion. China has firmly safeguard its national sovereignty, security & development interests. We have never been aggressive & pursued own development at expense of other countries” he said.

He also warned India not to interfere in China’s internal affairs amid calls from various quarters asking the Indian administration to be more aggressive in its stand on the issues of Taiwan, Hong Kong and the human rights abuse in Xinjiang and Tibet.

“Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Xizang affairs are totally China’s internal affairs and bear on China’s sovereignty and security. While China doesn’t interfere in other country’s internal affairs, it allows no external interference and never trades its core interests either,” he said.

He emphasised on five points. He said “China advocates win-win cooperation & opposes zero-sum game. Our economies are highly complementary, interwoven & interdependent. Forced decoupling is against the trend and will only lead to a “lose-lose” outcome.”

“Our economic & trade exchanges should be a positive cycle of mutual accomplishment. It should not become a knockout nor a zero-sum game deliberately suppressing others. We should recognize mutually beneficial and win-win nature and jointly create an open, fair, just business environment,” he added.

“Our relations today are hard-earned and should be cherished all the more. At this critical moment, we should handle relations cautiously, calmly and rationally, conform to international trend, always look forward and move forward, resolutely avoid whirlpool of suspicion & confrontation,” said the Chinese envoy.

While China asks India to meet halfway, India said that the onus was on Beijing to adhere to the understanding reached by both sides in various meetings.

“As we have stated earlier, the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is the basis of our bilateral relationship. Therefore, we expect that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the Special Representatives,” said Srivastava.

Courtesy – IndiaToday

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