India cited as ‘completely responsible’ for this month’s clash on the Sino-Indian border
China hopes India can strictly observe and implement the consensus reached with China, and take real actions to restore peace and stability in the border areas, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said June 24.
Earlier, the commanders reached the agreement on June 22 in their first meeting since a clash between Chinese and Indian troops at the border area in the Galwan Valley on June 15. This is also the second commander-level dialogue between the two nations since they have been locked in border tension since May. The first dialogue was held on June 6.
Speaking at a regular press conference, Zhao said that recently the incident in the Galwan Valley in the western section of the China-India boundary has received much attention. “The merits of what happened are very clear. None of the responsibility lies with China,” he said.
First, it is the Indian border troops who crossed the line first. The Line of Actual Control in the western section of the boundary is clear. The Galwan Valley lies on the Chinese side of the LAC.
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.
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 line as China demanded.
In the first round of commander-level talks on June 6, the Indian side promised that it would not cross the estuary 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 estuary. 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,” Zhao said.
Third, India violated international rules and attacked China 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 officer and staff 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.
Zhao told reporters that 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 and cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible.
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, peace and tranquility in the border areas.
“We hope India can strictly observe and implement the above-mentioned consensus, work with China and take real actions to restore peace and stability in the border areas,” Zhao said.
On June 23, Zhao denied speculation in media reports that said at least 40 Chinese troops had died in the June 15 clash, saying “it is false information”.
Also, on June 24, Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian said China hopes India will work with it to fulfill the consensuses reached by national leaders from both countries, honor agreements and accords between the two sides, and strive to ease border tensions.
India was completely responsible for this month’s clash on the Sino-Indian border and China always wishes to safeguard the peace and stability of border regions, he told a regular ministry news conference in Beijing.
He said the two sides were also discussing the holding of a teleconference between their defense ministers.
Xinhua contributed to the report.
HONG KONG NEWS