India China standoff: China claims Galwan Valley after PM Modi’s “no incursion” statement

Story Highlights
  • As many as 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives on Monday in the face-off with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley

Indo-Sino: China has once again claimed that the Galwan Valley of Ladakh is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the west section of the China-India boundary, after PM Modi denied any incursions on the border of India.

“For many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling in this region,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, alleging that since April this year, the Indian border troops had unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley.

Zhao said, “India had gone even further to cross the LAC and make provocations, even after China lodged on multiple occasions representations and protests.”

The provocations were made deliberately in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control and management by the Indian troops and the Indian border troops, who had crossed the LAC by night and trespassed into China’s territory, built fortifications and barricades, which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops by the early morning of May 6.

To respond to the situation on the ground and strengthen management and control in the border areas, Chinese border troops were forced to take necessary measures. 

 “In response to the strong demand of the Chinese side, India agreed to withdraw the personnel who crossed the LAC and demolish the facilities, and so they did.” Both the countries had stayed in close communication through military and diplomatic channels to ease up the situation.

To reach consensus on easing the situation further, a commander-level meeting was held by the border troops of both countries. Even for patrolling and building facilities, India had promised that they would not cross the estuary of the Galwan river. Through the meetings between commanders on the ground, the two sides would discuss and decide phased withdrawal of troops. 

“Shockingly, on the evening of June 15, India’s front-line troops, in violation of the agreement reached at the commander-level meeting, once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation when the situation in the Galwan Valley was already easing, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties.” 

“The adventurous acts of the Indian Army have seriously undermined the stability of the border areas, threatened the lives of Chinese personnel, violated the agreements reached between the two countries on the border issue, and breached the basic norms governing international relations,” the spokesperson said.

Beijing, he said, hoped India would work with China, follow faithfully the important consensus reached between the two leaders, abide by the agreements reached between the two governments, and strengthen communication and coordination on properly managing the current situation through diplomatic and military channels, and jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas. 

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