‘Untenable Claims Contrary to Understanding’ With China: MEA
At least 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with China at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday, 17 June said that the Galwan clash between Indian Army jawans and Chinese PLA on Monday was a premediated and planned action by China and that this was strongly conveyed to the Chinese counterpart in a telephonic conversation by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
In a response to a query on the statement by the Chinese side that the sovereignty of the Galwan Valley area brings to China, MEA’s official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding.”
“The Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” Jaishankar told Chinese Freign Minister Wang Yi, according to the MEA.
“EAM underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6 June. Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it,” the MEA said.
“At the conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely. Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols,” the statement added.
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China Demands Investigation
On 17 June, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a brief of the phone conversation between State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India.
Wang Yi noted that on the evening of 15 June, the Indian forces had openly broke the consensus that had reached at the commander-level meeting between the two sides.
He alleged that the Indian side “crossed the Line of Actual Control again, made deliberate provocations” and “violently attacked the Chinese soldiers who went for negotiations,” which led to “fierce physical clashes and resulted in casualties.”
He pointed out that the Indian Army had violated basic norms governing international relations.
The state councillor emphasised the need for the Indian side to conduct a thorough investigation to “hold the violators accountable, strictly discipline the frontline troops and immediately stop all provocative acts to ensure such incidents will not occur again.”
“The Indian side must not misjudge the current situation and must not underestimate China’s firm determination to safeguard our territorial sovereignty.”State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as quoted in the statement
Wang Yi stressed that “mutual respect and support” can ensure to protect the long-term interests of both countries and “suspicion and friction is a wrong path.”
“Both sides should act on the important consensus reached by the two state leaders, strengthen communication and coordination to properly address the border situation through existing channels, including the China-India Special Representatives’ Meeting and border personnel meeting mechanism, so as to jointly preserve peace and tranquility in the border area.” the statement read.
Jaishankar had also “expressed India’s readiness to act in the interest of the bilateral relations, implement the consensus reached by the two leaders together with China, peacefully resolve disputes in the border area through dialogue, and reduce tensions in the border area.”
The two sides, it stated, has agreed jointly observe the consensus reached at the commander-level meeting between the two sides and maintain peace and tranquility in the border area.
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