‘Unilateral Change of Status Quo, China Violated Agreement’: MEA
The army said the casualties were “on both sides” during the face-off.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday, 16 June issued a statement on the clash with China at the LAC that turned violent on Monday night leading to the death of several Indian Army personnel and unknown number of soldiers of the Chinese PLA.
The ministry said that the casualties could have been avoided on both sides had China not changed status quo unilaterally and followed the agreement at higher level.
“On late-evening and night of 15 June, a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by Chinese side to unilaterally change status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had agreement at higher level been scrupulously followed by Chinese side,” the MEA said in a statement.
“Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side,” it further said.
“We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement added.
The statement by MEA came just after reports of at least 20 Indian Army personnel getting killed surfaced.
Amid tensions between India and China along the LAC in Ladakh, the Indian Army on Tuesday said that a "violent face-off took place" on Monday night "with casualties" at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
“The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation,” the army said in an official statement in the afternoon.
In an amended statement later, the army said the casualties were “on both sides” during the face-off.
Meanwhile, the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times tweeted saying that the "Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash".
Hu Xijin, Editor of Global Times, took to Twitter and said, “Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash.”
Earlier, China asked India to not take “unilateral actions” and “provoke trouble” in response to reports that an Indian officer and two soldiers were killed along the border in Galwan Valley, Ladakh, reported Reuters news agency.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was quoted by Global Times as saying, "Clashes broke out on Monday between China and India's border troops in Galwan Valley, after Indian troops crossed the border for illegal activities and launched provocative attacks on Chinese personnel. China has lodged strong protest with India."
Military representatives of both countries are meeting now at the location to defuse tensions.
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