In a rebuke to India, China says whole Galwan Valley on its side of border

Alleges India has ‘unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at LAC in the valley

By: News Desk      Published: 10:30 AM, 20 Jun, 2020
In a rebuke to India, China says whole Galwan Valley on its side of border

Beijing on Friday issued a fresh statement on the China-India border tensions with the country's foreign ministry reiterating that the whole of Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control.

China's foreign ministry said that Chinese troops have been patrolling the area "for years" and that India unilaterally changed the status quo of control and management since April.

"The Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in the west section of the China-India boundary. For many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling and on duty in this region," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a news conference.

The ministry added that India has “unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley”.

Zhao, in the statement, said that Indian troops trespassed into China's territory on May 6 and “built fortification and barricades, which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops”. This, Zhao said, forced Chinese troops to respond.

The ministry said that India had agreed to not patrol and build facilities in Galwan. India “promised that they would not cross the estuary of the Galwan river to patrol and build facilities”, it said, adding that both the sides agreed for a phased withdrawal of troops on June 6.

The ministry, however, further said that India violated the agreement on June 15 and “once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation". It claimed that Indian troops "violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties”.

The ministry also added that both the sides will hold a second commander level meeting soon. "India-China agreed to cool down the situation as soon as possible as per bilateral agreements," it said.

According to the Indian army, violent clashes took place between Indian and Chinese troops on the intervening night of June 15 and June 16 during the de-escalation process in Galwan region of eastern Ladakh. 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in the clashes with China, the first such deadly fight at the border in at least 45 years.

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.

China has lodged solemn representations and strong protests to the Indian side.

During State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's phone conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, he repeated China's stern position, demanding India to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident, severely punish those who should be held accountable, strictly discipline Indian frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative actions so as to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. A second commander-level meeting should happen as soon as possible to deal with the situation on the ground.

The two sides agreed to handle in a just manner the serious situation caused by the Galwan Valley clash, observe the agreement reached during the commander-level meeting, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and tranquillity of the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements reached so far.

China hopes that India will work with us, follow faithfully the important consensus reached between the two leaders, abide by the agreements reach 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.