New Delhi: India Thursday said it is “strongly committed” to ensuring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity even as it stressed on “respecting” the LAC.
“… there have been some inaccurate and uninformed comments about the disengagement process and its implications. Let me remind you that in the last few weeks, we have made several statements spelling out categorically the position of the government on different aspects of the current situation in the Western Sector of India-China border areas…,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), during a virtual media briefing.
“We are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Srivastava said, adding this was also conveyed to the Chinese side by Doval in clear terms.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the discussions on 5 July under the mechanism of Special Representatives (SR) of India and China on the Boundary Question, also called the SR talks.
The SRs had come to the conclusion that both sides would continue with the regular contact between military and diplomatic levels, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs.
Srivastava said the next WMCC meeting on India-China border affairs is expected to take “place soon” even as the diplomatic and military officials of both the sides will continue their meetings to “take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation” as agreed by the SRs.
ThePrint has reported that the WMCC may take place this weekend during which both sides will focus on the understanding reached between the SRs.
After the talks between Doval and Wang, the Modi government came under criticism from the Congress with party leader Rahul Gandhi asking why there was no mention of the “territorial sovereignty of Galwan Valley” and why China was “allowed to justify the murder of 20 unarmed jawans”.
National interest is paramount. GOI's duty is to protect it.
1. Why has Status Quo Ante not been insisted on?
2. Why is China allowed to justify the murder of 20 unarmed jawans in our territory?
3. Why is there no mention of the territorial sovereignty of Galwan valley? pic.twitter.com/tlxhl6IG5B
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 7, 2020
Gandhi also tweeted the statements issued both by the MEA and the Chinese Foreign Ministry after the talks.
‘Chinese claims to Galwan Valley area are exaggerated’
The MEA spokesperson further said: “During the conversation, the NSA conveyed categorically India’s position on the recent developments along the LAC, including in the Galwan Valley area.”
“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,” Srivastava said.
He added that Doval had also reiterated to Wang during their conversation that “recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable” and that the LAC must be “strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas; and that neither side should take any unilateral action to alter it”.