‘China has no detained Indian army personnel at present’: Official
China has no detained Indian soldiers at present, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday hours after it emerged that 10 Indian Army personnel captured by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had been freed after intense negotiations on Thursday.
The Indian soldiers were captured following the bloody confrontation with Chinese troops near the Galwan Valley area of eastern Ladakh on Monday.
Twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, died in the line of duty in the violent face-off that has shattered years of tenuous peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and plunged bilateral ties to a deep low in decades.
“As far as I know, China has no detained Indian personnel at present,”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said at the regular press conference on Friday.
Earlier in the day, HT had reported that 10 soldiers, including at least two officers, were returned to the Indian, three days after the brutal combat along the LAC.
These negotiations were kept tightly under wraps due to concerns for the safety of the soldiers amid the heightened tensions between the two sides, people familiar with developments said.
Asked to comment on calls in India to boycott Chinese goods and the possibility of New Delhi launching anti-dumping investigations, Zhao said: “China values our bilateral relations. Hope India can work with China to maintain the long-term development of bilateral relations”.
At the same time, Zhao reiterated Beijing’s consistent stand that India was to blame for the conflict.
“I like to reiterate that regarding the serious situation in the Galwan Valley, the right and wrong is very clear. The responsibility entirely lies with the Indian side.”
The foreign ministry spokesperson continued to parry queries on PLA’s casualties.
“China and India are in dialogue to resolve the matter on the ground through diplomatic and military channels. I do not have any information for you at the moment,” he said.