Position on Galwan Valley Been ‘Historically Clear’: MEA to China

Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) clarified all infrastructure was built on the Indian side alone.

3 min read
“Attempts by the Chinese side to now advance exaggerated and untenable claims with regard to Line of Actual Control (LAC) there are not acceptable. They are not in accordance with China’s own position in the past.”
Anurag Srivastava, Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs

Rejecting China's claim of sovereignty over Galwan Valley area on Saturday, 20 June, India said the position with regard to the region has been "historically clear".

In response to queries on the statement issued on 19 June by the Chinese Spokesperson on the events in the Galwan valley area, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said the Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in the India-China border area, and “abide by it scrupulously.”


Chinese Side ‘Attempted to Transgress the LAC’

Just hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on the “violent face-off” at the all-party meet on Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement which it claims to be a “step-by-step account of the Galwan Valley incident.” The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated the claim that the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh is located on the Chinese side of the LAC in the west section of the China-India border.

Lijian further said that Chinese border troops have been patrolling the region for many years until April of this year when Indian border troops built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley.

“China lodged representations and protests on multiple occasions but India went even further to cross the LAC and made provocations,” he alleged.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that all infrastructure built by India has always been on the Indian side alone.

The Chinese side alleged that on 6 May, Indian troops had crossed LAC, trespassed into its territory, built fortification and barricades, ‘which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops.’

“They deliberately made provocations in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control and management,” he alleged.

The MEA strongly condemned this contention and retorted that it was the Chinese who have been hindering India's ‘traditional’ patrolling pattern since May 2020, which had resulted in a face-off.

When the Chinese side “attempted to transgress the LAC in other areas of the Western Sector of the border areas,” the Indian side gave the appropriate response, the statement said. The two sides were then engaged in diplomatic and military level discussions to address the issues.

On 6 June, the border troops held a senior commander level meeting and agreed on a process for de-escalation and disengagement along the LAC

What Happened on 15 June?

The Chinese side alleged that on the evening of 15 June, India's troops had ‘once again’ crossed the LAC for ‘deliberate provocation.’

“India’s front-line troops even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties.”
Zhao Lijian, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson

However, the MEA stated that the Chinese troops had departed from the understandings, erected structures just across the LAC and took violent actions on that night.

Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) issued protest "in the strongest terms" and rejected the allegations made by the Chinese side and the "misrepresentation of the understandings reached between the Senior Commanders".

“He also underlined that it was for China to reassess its actions and take corrective steps,” read the statement. The foreign affairs ministers of China and India have now agreed both sides will implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas, which is essential for bilateral relations.

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