China's claims on Galwan Valley exaggerated: India

Ensure complete disengagement of troops along Line of Actual Control, says MEA

China's claims on Galwan Valley exaggerated: India

A satellite image of Galwan Valley in Ladakh. Planet Labs Inc/AFP

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9

Terming China’s claims on the Galwan valley as exaggerated and untenable, India on Thursday said it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as de-escalation in the depth areas.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) took on its Chinese counterpart who had quoted his Foreign Minister and Special Representative (SR) for Border Affairs Wang Yi as saying the right and wrong of what happened in the Galwan valley was “very clear’’. Simultaneously, Beijing had sought to imply that it has ownership over the Galwan valley where 20 Indian soldiers died in a clash with Chinese troops on June 15.

At the same time, the MEA said it was hopeful that dialogue between diplomatic and military officials of both sides will take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation as agreed to by the SRs. A vital role will be played by the next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) which will be held soon.

Addressing a press conference, MEA spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava said India’s SR, NSA Ajit Doval had categorically conveyed India’s position on the recent developments along the LAC, including in the Galwan valley area. “The NSA emphasised in this context that the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management. And at the same time, our forces were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security,’’ he added, implying that Doval had indicated that Indians were in a defensive and reactive mode.  

During their conversation, the two SRs agreed that peace and tranquility in border areas were essential for the overall development of bilateral relations. In this regard, Shrivastava reminded that they also shared the view that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation in the India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.

One of the key provisions of these bilateral agreements is the commitment by two sides to strictly respect and observe the LAC, he said while refuting “some inaccurate and uninformed comments about the disengagement process and its implications’’ which included “exaggerated and untenable’’ recent Chinese claims to the Galwan valley area.

The MEA also reiterated that it was “convinced” of the need to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and resolve differences through dialogue. At the same time, “we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,’’ it reminded.

 

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