'Violent face-off' in eastern Ladakh because China unilaterally wanted to change status quo, could have avoided casualties, says MEA
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Tuesday that the violent face-off in the Galwan Valley region in eastern Ladakh on Monday happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally the change status quo
India and China have been discussing, through military and diplomatic channels, to de-escalate the situation in the Galwan Valley region in eastern Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday. Spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava asserted that the violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change status quo.
The MEA said that both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had agreement arrived at earlier at higher level been scrupulously followed by Chinese side.
"Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). We expect the same of the Chinese side," MEA spokespeson Anurag Srivastava said.
"We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the MEA added.
The violent face-off between Indian and Chinese solders in eastern Ladakh on Monday was the first such incident involving fatalities after a gap of 45 years and signalling a massive escalation in the five-week border standoff in the sensitive region.
An Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed during the violent clash on Monday, however, the extent of casualties on the Chinese side is not immediately clear.
Meanwhile, the Chinese military has accused the Indian troops of crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The state-run Global Times newspaper quoted the People's Liberation Army Western Theatre Command spokesperson as saying that "Indian troops again crossed the line of actual control in the Galwan Valley region and purposefully launched provocative attacks, leading to severe clashes and casualties." It did not elaborate.
With inputs from PTI
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