China's Ladakh incursion: Restore status quo before incident, says India
Under protocol troops from both countries have been told that in the event of a face-to-face situation they need to exercise restraint.
New Delhi: India today asked China to revert to the status quo position in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh where troops of both countries were in a face-to-face situation after Chinese forces intruded nearly 10kms inside Indian territory eight days ago.
"We have asked the Chinese side to maintain the status quo in this sector (of the western border)," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said, adding, "by this I mean the status quo prior to this incident."
He also added that "we see this as a face-to-face situation between border personnel of two sides due to differences on their alignment of Line of Actual Control".
The term "face-to-face" is not something that India has "conjured up", it is something that is referred to in 2005 Protocol for implementation of CBMs in military field in the LAC in India-China border areas, he said.
While referring to the relevant provision in the protocol, he said, under it "if the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the line of actual control or any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation.
"Both sides shall also enter into immediate consultations through diplomatic and/or other available channels to review the situation and prevent any escalation of tension."
The Official Spokesperson's remarks came even as the local military commanders of India and China held a flag meeting today in a bid to resolve the situation arising out of the incursion. The meeting was held in Daulat Beg Oldi sector.
Speaking about the steps taken by the government since the incident on April 15, the spokesperson said, India raised the issue with China last week immediately after the Chinese incursion came to light.
Apart from Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai ummoning the Chinese Ambassador to South Block, Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary in MEA, who is heading the India-China joint working mechanism to deal with issues on the boundary from the Indian side, spoke to his counterpart in Beijing last week, emphasising on the need to resolve the issue.
The Chinese side said they will look into the ssue and respond accordingly.
However, when contacted the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi reiterated the comments made by their Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Beijing yesterday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said yesterday that "China's frontier troops have been abiding by the agreement between the two countries and abiding by the LAC agreed by the two countries.
"Our frontier troops have been patrolling on the China's side of LAC", Hua had said, adding, "Our troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the LAC and have never trespassed the line".
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