June 26, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The situation on the Sino-Indian standoff in Ladakh continues to remain serious. Amidst reports of Chinese military deployment near strategically important Daulat Beg Oldi, talks between the two sides continue. Both sides issued their official words on the ongoing standoff, situation at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and mutual talks.
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On comparing statements issued by China in form of remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference and written release issued by Ministry of External Affairs (India) a striking contrast between stances taken by two sides could be noted.
MEA India’s statement was limited to extending formal details of the 15th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC). The statement does not say even a word about China’s aggressive stance in the area of dispute.
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On the other hand Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s remarks started exhorning China of any responsibility for the recent ‘incident in the Galwan Valley in the westren sector of the China-India border’.
It is followed by three lengthy paragraphs accusing and blaming the Indian side and troops of crossing line of actual control first, attempting to unilaterally changing the status quo, ‘deliberately provoking Chinese troops’, ‘violating bilateral consensus’, attacking Chinese troops ‘in an abrupt and violent manner’ on June 15. Thus Chinese statement has clearly blamed India and Indian troops for all the situations that arose into that region, including June 15 bloody attack in which 20 Indian soldiers, including a commanding officer, were killed. Notably, 4 of them were from Punjab.
The last paragraph of Chinese statement refers to 17 June talk between forgeign ministers of both sides and commander level talks from June 22 to 23 while making a formal note that ‘agreed to jointly take necessary measures for de-escalation, and work together for the peace and tranquility in the border areas. We hope the Indian side can strictly observe and implement the above-mentioned consensus, meet China halfway and take real actions to restore peace and stability in the border areas’.
STATEMENTS of FMA (CHINA) and MEA (INDIA) are being reproduced below in verbatim for the information of readers of the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN): ↓
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on June 24, 2020:
Recently the incident in the Galwan Valley in the western sector of the China-India border has received much attention. I already went through the ins and outs of the whole incident on June 19. The merits of what happened are very clear. None of the responsibility lies with China.
First, it is the Indian border troops who crossed the line first. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector of the boundary is clear. The Galwan Valley lies on the Chinese side of the LAC. The Chinese border troops, who have all along been patrolling the area, know very well the situation of management and control on the ground. Since April this year, the Indian side has been building roads and bridges at and across the LAC in the Galwan Valley, unilaterally changing the status quo. China has lodged representations on multiple occasions. On the early morning of May 6, Indian border troops crossed the LAC under the cover of night, trespassed into China’s territory and deliberately made provocations. The Chinese border troops were compelled to take necessary measures to respond to the situation on the ground and strengthen management and control along the border.
Second, it is the Indian side that violated bilateral consensus and started provocations first. In the presence of China’s diplomatic representations and military pressure, India originally agreed to withdraw its personnel who crossed the LAC and dismantled the facilities it built across the LAC as China demanded. In the first round of commander-level talks on June 6, the Indian side promised that it would not cross the river mouth of the Galwan river to patrol and build facilities. The two sides also agreed to build observation posts on either side of the Galwan river mouth. However, the Indian side later reneged on the consensus, wantonly demanded that China dismantle its observation post, and once again crossed the line for provocations, which triggered the conflict.
Third, it is the India side that violated international rules and attacked the Chinese side first. On the night of June 15, Indian frontline troops breached the agreement of the commander-level talks, once again crossed the LAC, and demolished the tents built by the Chinese side. When the Chinese army officers and soldiers came to negotiate as per customary practices on handling border-related issues, the Indian troops attacked them in an abrupt and violent manner, which led to fierce physical confrontations and casualties. The adventurous acts of the Indian army seriously violated the agreements reached between the two countries on the border issue, and breached the basic norms governing international relations. The acts of the Indian army are of a vile nature and have severe consequences.
As agreed by the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers during their phone call on June 17, both sides agreed to handle in a just manner the serious situation caused by the Galwan Valley clash, observe the agreement reached during the commander-level talks, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and tranquility of the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements reached so far. From June 22 to 23, the two sides held the second round of commander-level talks and agreed to jointly take necessary measures for de-escalation, and work together for the peace and tranquility in the border areas. We hope the Indian side can strictly observe and implement the above-mentioned consensus, meet China halfway and take real actions to restore peace and stability in the border areas.
15th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs:
1. The 15th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held through video-conference on 24 June 2020. The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia), while Director General of the Department of Boundary & Oceanic Affairs of the Chinese MFA led the Chinese delegation.
2. The two sides discussed in detail the developments in the India-China border areas in particular the situation in Eastern Ladakh. The Indian side conveyed its concerns on the recent developments in Eastern Ladakh, including on the violent face off in Galwan Valley area on 15th June that had resulted in casualties. In this regard, it was emphasised that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control.
3. The two sides recalled the conversation last week between External Affairs Minister and the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister H.E. Wang Yi and reaffirmed that both sides should sincerely implement the understanding on disengagement and de-escalation that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. The two delegations agreed that implementation of this understanding expeditiously, in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols, would help ensure peace and tranquillity in border areas and the development of broader relationship between the two countries. In this context, they also took note of the discussions in the second meeting of the Senior Commanders held on 22 June.
4. The two sides also agreed to maintain communication both at diplomatic and military level including under the framework of WMCC to resolve the existing situation peacefully.
June 24, 2020
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Related Topics: Current Situation in South Asia, India China Relationship, Indian Politics, Indian State, Indo-China Border Dispute, Indo-China Relations, Ladakh 2020 Standoff Between China and India, Narendra Modi Led BJP Government in India (2019-2024)