Amid the ongoing India-China standoff along the LAC in Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday asserted that India never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Contro (LAC), adding that the position has been consistent and well known including to the Chinese.
The MEA said India urged China to “sincerely and faithfully” abide by all “agreements and understandings in their entirety and refrain from advancing an untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC”.
India and Chinese have been involved in commander talks ever since the Galwan Valley clash in June. On August 29-30, the Indian and Chinese troops were involved in another skirmish as the Indian side sought to push back the Chinese incursion amid the standoff at the border.
“As we have previously made clear, the Indian side has always respected and abided by the LAC. As Defence Minister stated in the Parliament recently, it is the Chinese side which by its attempts to transgress the LAC in various parts of the Western Sector, has tried to unilaterally alter the status quo,” it said.
In the last few months, the Chinese side has repeatedly affirmed that the current situation in the border areas should be resolved in accordance with the agreements signed between the two countries. In the agreement reached between External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart on September 10 also, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements, the MEA added.
The MEA added, “We therefore expect that the Chinese side will sincerely and faithfully abide by all agreements and understandings in their entirety and refrain from advancing an untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC.”
“Under their various bilateral agreements including the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field, 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China boundary question, both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC,” said the MEA.
The MEA further stated that the “two sides had engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC up to 2003 but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it”.
“Therefore the insistence now on of the Chinese side that they is only one LAC is contrary to the solemn commitments made by China in these agreements,” the MEA asserted.