Yet again, China claims sovereignty over Galwan Valley

On Wednesday, one more time, China claimed its sovereignty over the ‘Galwan Valley region’, requesting India not to move beyond the Galwan-Shyok estuary, even when the discussions were in progress between foreign ministries of both the countries to reduce the tension.

 

Once again, China has claimed its sovereignty over the ‘Galwan Valley’, demanding India to back off.

 

In a double attack against India, Chinese foreign and defense ministries critiqued Delhi for breaching “bilateral agreements, international rules and provoking the clash” and accused Delhi of June 15 occurrence.

 

Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman stated: “My statement just now is meant to clarify the whole situation, tell the truth to everyone. We made the statement because the MEA in India and also Indian media have made some false reports.”

 

Wu Qian, another Chinese defense ministry spokesman stated: “But what is shocking is that on the evening of June 15, Indian front-line frontier troops openly violated the consensus reached by the two sides, turned their backs, and once again crossed the actual control line to deliberately provoke China. While negotiating on the spot, Chinese officers and soldiers were suddenly violently attacked by the Indian side. This triggered intense physical clashes between officers and soldiers on both sides, resulting in casualties.”

 

The statements collided with a clashing note for the 15th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs, which virtually accepted that peace at LAC would contribute to the progress of a more comprehensive relationship amongst the two countries. 

 

WMCC also acknowledged the talks in the second meeting of the senior commanders conducted on June 22, as claimed by the MEA statement. The two parties also agreed to retain communication both at diplomatic and military levels, containing the framework of WMCC to settle the current situation in peace. China, meanwhile, told, there were free and frank talks at WMCC.

 

Both sides talked in detail about the advancements in the border areas, especially, the situation in eastern Ladakh. The Indian side told its issues regarding the latest developments in eastern Ladakh, comprising those on the violent confrontation at the Galwan Valley. In this context, the MEA statement highlighted that both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC. 

 

The bilateral contracts and protocols to retain peace at LAC contain Sino-Indian boundary agreements between 1993 and 1996. The agreement from 1993 mentions that in case personnel from either side cross the LAC, “upon being cautioned by the other side, they shall immediately pull back to their side of the Line of Actual Control”. China has not done that either in Galwan or Pangong Tso. The PLA instead built structures and based its troops which can be regarded as troop build-up.

 

The 1996 agreement even mentions, “If the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences in the alignment of the line of actual control or any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation. Both sides shall also enter into immediate consultations through diplomatic and/or other available channels to review the situation and prevent any escalation of tension.”

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