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China's amassing of troops and bids to alter status quo to blame for LAC standoff: India

India’s statement came in response to the Chinese foreign ministry describing military deployment as a 'normal' arrangement and putting the blame squarely on India.
 

China s amassing of troops and bids to alter status quo to blame for LAC standoff: India-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 25, 2021, 10:18 AM IST
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India on Thursday blamed China’s actions of amassing a large number of troops close to the border and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last year for the continuing military standoff in eastern Ladakh, and asserted that these acts were in violation of bilateral agreements.

The latest war of words between the foreign ministries of the two countries came against the backdrop of a lack in progress in disengagement and de-escalation of frontline troops following a limited drawdown on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in February. India has insisted that peace and tranquillity on LAC is a prerequisite for normalcy in the overall bilateral relationship.

"It is well recognised that it has been the Chinese actions over the last year, including amassing of a large number of troops close to border areas in the western sector and trying to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC, which have seriously disturbed peace and tranquillity in the border areas," external affairs ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing.

He asserted that China’s actions violated bilateral border agreements that obliged both sides to keep “their military forces in the areas along the LAC to a minimum level”.

“These acts are in violation of our bilateral agreements, including the 1993 and 1996 agreements that mandate that the two sides shall strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and that two sides will keep their military forces in the areas along the LAC to a minimum level,” Bagchi said.

He was responding to a question on the comments made by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Wednesday that the military deployment by China in the western sector along the border is a "normal defence arrangement.

"China's military deployment along the western section of the China-India border is a normal defence arrangement aimed at preventing and responding to encroachment and threat on China's territory by relevant country," he said. 

Zhao made these comments when asked about External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's recent remarks that the issue relating to the border row is whether Beijing would live up to its written commitments about not deploying a large armed force along the frontier.

Asked when the next round of diplomatic talks under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) will take place, Bagchi said he does not have an update on it.

India’s statement through the MEA came in response to the Chinese foreign ministry describing military deployment as a “normal” arrangement and putting the blame squarely on India.

Since May 2020, the militaries of the two Asian giants have been at a stand-off in eastern Ladakh over multiple friction points, which had flared up fatally in June 2020, leaving over 20 Indian soldiers dead.

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