India blames China’s deployment of large number of troops for tensions on LAC
India on Thursday blamed China’s deployment of a large number of troops and armaments for tensions along the Line of Actual Control and said it expected the Chinese side to work towards the early resolution of outstanding issues in Ladakh sector.
The Indian side has only made counter deployments in response to China’s “provocative behaviour and unilateral attempts to alter status quo” on the LAC and to fully protect the country’s security interests, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
Bagchi was responding to allegations by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Wednesday that the Indian side was pursuing a “forward policy” and had “illegally crossed the LAC to encroach on China’s territory”.
“It was the amassing of large number of troops by the Chinese side, their provocative behaviour and unilateral attempts to alter status quo in contravention of all our bilateral agreements that resulted in serious disturbance of peace and tranquillity along the LAC in eastern Ladakh,” he said.
“China continues to deploy large number of troops and armaments in the border areas,” he added.
India has already made its position clear and rejected statements from the Chinese side which “have no basis in facts”, Bagchi said.
“It was in response to Chinese actions that our armed forces had to make appropriate counter deployments in these areas to ensure that India’s security interests are fully protected,” he said.
Bagchi recalled external affairs minister S Jaishankar had told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their meeting in Dushanbe on the margins of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit earlier this month that the Indian side expects China “will work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols”.
During a regular news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, spokesperson Hua had responded to a question regarding the Indian Army deploying sophisticated artillery on the LAC by blaming the New Delhi for the military standoff.
“The Indian side has long pursued the ‘forward policy’ and illegally crossed the LAC to encroach on China’s territory, which is the root cause of tension in the China-India border situation,” she said.
“China opposes any arms race in the disputed border areas for the purpose of competition over control. We have always been firm in safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and security, and committed to peace and stability in the China-India border areas,” she added.
On Friday, India had blamed China’s “provocative behaviour” and unilateral attempts to alter status quo on the LAC for disrupting bilateral ties and rejected Beijing’s contention that the Indian side was responsible for the deadly Galwan Valley clash last year.
The brutal clash in Galwan Valley on June 15 last year, which saw troops from both sides fighting each other for several hours with rocks, rods and clubs covered with barbed wire, resulted in the first fatalities on the LAC in 45 years. The Indian side lost 20 soldiers while China has acknowledged four deaths.
The two sides withdrew frontline troops from the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in February and from Gogra in August after several rounds of diplomatic and military talks. India has insisted bilateral ties can be normalised only when disengagement and de-escalation is completed at other friction points on the LAC such as Hot Spring and Depsang.