The Centre on Thursday told the Parliament that China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control had “seriously disturbed” peace and tranquility in the region. The government added that Indian forces had appropriately responded to Chinese action.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan was responding to questions in the Rajya Sabha about India’s approach to Chinese aggression. He said that it had been made clear to Beijing that its transgression was unacceptable.
The minister added that India was continuing discussions with China in an attempt to resolve the border standoff. “Over the last several months, we have been engaged with the Chinese side through diplomatic and military channels to ensure complete disengagement from all friction points and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the India-China Border Areas,” he said. “External Affairs Minister [S Jaishankar] met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 10 September 2020 in Moscow. The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.”
Muraleedharan said that India and China had so far held nine rounds of military talks and six meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs.
The ninth round of the Corps Commander-level were held on January 24. India said that the meeting was “positive, practical and constructive”.
Significantly, the meeting took place just two days after fresh clashes erupted between Indian and Chinese troops in Sikkim. The Indian Army, however, maintained that the matter was “resolved by local commanders as per established protocols”.
The standoff between India and China has continued since the clashes in Eastern Ladakh in June that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is also believed to have suffered casualties, but has not given any details. Both India and China have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years.
Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also said the that the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh showed Beijing’s willingness to breach peace. He added that the loss of lives on the border profoundly disturbed the bilateral ties between the two countries.