Chinese actions responsible for Ladakh stand-off: MEA

Chinese actions responsible for eastern Ladakh stand-off: MEA

His comment came a day after Zhao Lijian accused the Indian Army of increasing deployment along the border between the two nations

Army vehicles moving towards Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid border tension with China. Credit: PTI File Photo

A day after Beijing accused India of encroaching on the territory of China, New Delhi turned the table on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the neighbouring communist country and blamed it for the stand-off, which started along the Line of Actual Control 14 months ago and still remained unresolved.

“It is well recognised that it has been the Chinese actions over the last year, including amassing of a large number of troops close to border areas in the Western Sector, and trying to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC, which have seriously disturbed peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi on Thursday.

His comment came a day after Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in Beijing that the People’s Liberation Army’s deployment of a large number of troops along the LAC was a “normal defence arrangement aimed at preventing and responding to encroachment and threat” on the territory of China by India.

Also read — Eastern Ladakh row: Indian, Chinese diplomats to hold virtual talks to resolve standoff

Zhao also accused the Indian Army of increasing deployment along the border between the two nations and encroaching on its territory for a long time. “This is the root cause of tension along the China-India border. China always stands for a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue through negotiation and against linking the boundary issue with bilateral relations,” he said in Beijing on Wednesday.

New Delhi responded by underlining that China violated the 1993 and 1996 agreement it inked with India, by deploying a large number of troops along the LAC in April and May 2020 and thus resulting in the stand-off. The agreements required both sides to refrain from amassing a large number of troops in the border areas, to strictly abide by and respect the LAC, and to avoid taking any unilateral action to alter it.

India is likely to counter China’s allegation during the forthcoming video conference between the senior diplomats of the two nations.

A source in New Delhi said that India would ask China to stop flouting its border peace pacts and not only withdraw additional troops it deployed in ‘depth areas’ along the LAC over the past 14 months, but also refrain from a further mobilisation of the PLA soldiers in the border areas.

The diplomats of the two nations are likely to meet soon to break the deadlock in talks between the military commanders of the two sides to resolve the stand-off.

India’s delegation will be led by Naveen Srivastava, the Additional Secretary at the East Asia Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), while Hong Liang, the Director General of the Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese Government, will head the delegation of the communist country.

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