File photo of PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping | Graham Crouch/Bloomberg
File photo of PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping | Graham Crouch/Bloomberg
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New Delhi: India Tuesday said it will not accept China’s insistence to define the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in accordance with their 1959 claim and that this had been made clear to Beijing.

Reacting to a media report in which the Chinese foreign ministry was quoted as saying that Beijing still follows the 1959 claim line as the LAC, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “India has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC). This position has been consistent and well-known, including to the Chinese side.”

Highlighting the five border pacts of 1993, 1996 and 2005, Srivastava said, “both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC”.

“In fact, 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.”

Under the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC, the 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field and the 2005 Protocol on Implementation of CBMs, the 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, both sides have always affirmed to the fact that the LAC remains an unclear line and that it has to be defined.

Also read: Why India needs new confidence building measures to clarify LAC issue with China

Past agreements

In the 1996 agreement, signed in New Delhi on 29 November of that year, India and China had vowed to arrive at a “common understanding of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the India-China border areas”. The two sides also agreed to speed up the process of clarification and confirmation of the LAC.

“The insistence now of the Chinese side that there is only one LAC is contrary to the solemn commitments made by China in these agreements … As we have previously made clear, the Indian side has always respected and abided by the LAC,” Srivastava said.

“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,” Srivastava said, quoting Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement made in Parliament earlier this month.

The MEA said, in the last few months, China 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 the External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart on 10th September also, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements. 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,” the ministry said.

Also read: Beijing is probably aiming for its LAC claim of 1959, China expert Yun Sun says


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