China in 70 years has not occupied an inch of foreign land: Beijing
Beijing on Tuesday again blamed India for the latest bout of tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, saying China has never occupied an inch of territory belonging to another country and New Delhi should take its concerns seriously and contribute to peace and tranquillity at the border.
“Seventy-odd years since the founding of new China, China never provoked any war or conflict and never occupied an inch of other country’s territory. China border troops always strictly abide by the LAC and never crossed the line,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying.
India on Monday said that it had pre-empted “provocative military movements” by China to change the status quo along the LAC on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the consensus reached during military and diplomatic engagements and “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” on the night of August 29-30, Indian Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said in a statement on Monday.
“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” he said.
The Chinese military refuted the Indian Army statement on Monday evening, claiming that its troops had not crossed the LAC.
On Tuesday, Hua reiterated the view.
“The Indian side’s statement may be different from the Chinese but there is only one truth and fact,” she said.
Responding to question on the differences in the two statements, she said: “Perhaps there are some communication issues. I think both sides should stick to facts and have goodwill in maintaining the overall bilateral relations and take concrete measures to jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border.”
Hua also referred to the Indian military’s strengthening of deployment along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. “We noticed that for some time in India there have been many media reports about increased military along the border. I think people of the two countries want to live peacefully together and such Indian media reports are not consistent with people’s aspirations,” she said.
The spokesperson added that for some time China and India have held multilevel engagement and talks and made active efforts to peacefully resolve differences on the border and possibly disputes to safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border.
“But on August 31st, the Indian troops broke earlier consensus reached at meetings and talks, and on the southern bank of Pangong Lake and near the Reqin mountain, Indian troops illegally crossed the line, open provocation causing renewed tensions.”
The Indian troops, she alleged, violated China’s territorial sovereignty and the two sides’ agreements and consensus and undermined the peace and tranquillity. “It goes against the two sides’ efforts for some time to ease the situation. China expressed firm opposition and lodged solemn representations,” she said. “We asked the Indian side to immediately stop all provocations, pull back the trespassing personnel, stop actions that might complicate or escalate the situation.”
She said China hopes the Indian side will take Beijing’s concerns seriously and make concrete contributions to peace and tranquillity and development of bilateral relations.