Indian envoy asks China to move back to its side of LAC, pointing at PLA incursion into sovereign territory

Indian envoy to China Vikram Misri told PTI that India hopes that China will 'move back to its side of LAC' offering a completely different picture of the situation along the LAC near eastern Ladakh

FP Staff June 27, 2020 08:47:11 IST
Indian envoy asks China to move back to its side of LAC, pointing at PLA incursion into sovereign territory

An Indian envoy on Friday asked China to "move back to its side of LAC" in order to support the ongoing efforts to "de-escalate and disengage", contradicting an earlier statement of the Prime Minister's Office that "there (is) no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC" in eastern Ladakh.

"India hopes China will realise its responsibility in de-escalation and disengaging by moving back to its side of LAC," Indian envoy to China Vikram Misri said on Friday during an interview with news agency PTI.

"China has to stop the practice of transgressing and trying to erect structures on the Indian side of the LAC," he added.

Misri's statement comes just days after the government had clarified that Chinese soldiers are no longer on Indian side of the LAC.

India-China ties have come under severe strain after Chinese military killed 20 Indian Army personnel and injured around 76 in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on 15 June. Though reports claimed casualties on the Chinese side as well, Beijing is yet to make an official statement on the same.

In a statement on the all-party meeting called by Modi on 19 June to discuss the situation at the India-China border, the government had said, "At the outset, prime minister clarified that neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our posts captured."

The prime minister had reportedly also said that the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice taught a "lesson" to those who had dared to look towards India and assured the leaders that the armed forces are leaving no stone unturned to protect the country.

The categorical statement by the prime minister had come in the wake of reports that Chinese military has transgressed into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border, in several areas of eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley.

Opposition leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had questioned the government's handling of the situation, asking if there was any intelligence failure and seeking assurance that China will "revert" to its original position.

Indian envoy asks China to move back to its side of LAC pointing at PLA incursion into sovereign territory

However, instead of calming the nerves, Modi's remarks of "no intrusion" had the opposite effect as both the Opposition as well as civil society groups accused the government of having "surrendered" to China.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) clarified the statement saying that attempts were being made to give a "mischievous interpretation" to Modi's remarks at the all-party meeting.

"As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions," the PMO had clarified, adding that "there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces".

In contrast, Misri on Friday told PTI that India hopes that China will "move back to its side of LAC", offering a completely different picture of the situation along the LAC.

Misri, however, reiterated the Minisry of External Affairs stand on China's claim of sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, saying that Beijing's claim is "untenable" and that such exaggerated claims are not going to help the neighbouring country.

He also stated that China's attempt to alter status quo on the ground can have 'ripples and repercussions' in broader bilateral relationship.

He also said that maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border is sine qua non for progress in the rest of bilateral relationship between India and China.

"Actions taken by Chinese forces on the ground have damaged considerable trust in bilateral relationship," he said a dding that China should stop creating obstructions and hindrances in normal patrolling of Indian troops.

Mistry also defended the recent infrastructure projects taken up by India in Ladakh, which is also a point of contention between the two neighbours, stating that "India has always carried activities on the Indian side of the LAC".

With inputs from agencies

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