India on Thursday blamed China for continuing tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, adding that the problem could be resolved only through dialogue, the Hindustan Times reported.
“It is clear that the situation we witnessed over the past four months is a direct result of the actions taken by the Chinese side that sought to effect unilateral change of status quo,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a press briefing. “Now the way ahead is negotiations, both through the diplomatic and military channels. The Indian side is firmly committed to resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue.”
On September 1, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said that China had once again engaged in provocative military maneuvers on August 31. The new escalation in tensions came a day after the Indian Army said its soldiers had thwarted similar “provocative” movements by China’s military on Saturday night in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake.
On Thursday, Srivastava said the Chinese should “sincerely engage the Indian side with the objective of expeditiously restoring the peace and tranquility in the border areas through complete disengagement and de-escalation in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols”. He added that local military commanders of the two countries are still holding discussions to resolve the situation created by the August 29/30 Chinese incursion.
Indian and Chinese troops had first clashed on the border on June 15, in Ladakh. In that clash, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, and 76 were injured. An unidentified number of Chinese soldiers also died.
China criticises Indian ban on apps
China’s foreign and commerce ministries criticised India’s fresh ban on 118 Chinese apps, brought into effect on Wednesday, saying that the “mistake” should be reversed. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying wondered if India was working with the United States, and asked it to follow an independent policy.
The foreign ministry said that unlike the Indian ban, the Chinese did not feel threatened by the popularity of Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in their country or that of yoga. Hua said the ban would affect the rights of Indian users and Chinese businesses.
“We read the world wrong, and say that it deceives us,” Hua said, quoting a line from Tagore’s poetry. “Also, yoga is becoming more and more popular in China, including myself, I am very fond of Indian culture,” she added. “But we do not think that Indian culture or the poems or other things are infiltrating here or posing any threat to Chinese culture.”
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a press release on Wednesday that it had reports to show that the apps – which included popular video game PUBG – were “engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security and the security of state and public order”. The apps have been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
On Thursday, Srivastava defended the ban. “What I can say is that we remain open, we continue to welcome FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] in the country, including in the area of internet technology,” he said. “However, what we would like to say is companies, when they operate here, they have to operate in accordance with the regulatory framework of the Government of India.”