New Delhi: India Thursday said it is engaged with China diplomatically to mitigate the tensions simmering along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region since earlier this month.
“The two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations, which may arise in border areas, peacefully through dialogue and continue to remain engaged through these channels,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), at a media briefing Thursday.
He also ruled out any option of a mediation by the US.
US President Donald Trump Wednesday expressed his willingness to “mediate” or “arbitrate” between New Delhi and Beijing to resolve the border crisis.
Srivastava said India is speaking to China through diplomatic channels to resolve the standoff “peacefully”, adding that the Indian troops have taken a “very responsible approach towards border management and are strictly following the procedures laid out in various bilateral agreements and protocols with China to resolve any issue that may arise in the border areas”.
“India is committed to the objective of maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas with China and our armed forces scrupulously follow the consensus reached by our leaders and the guidance provided. At the same time, we remain firm in our resolve to ensure India’s sovereignty and national security,” the spokesperson said.
Srivastava also recalled the five pacts that both sides agreed upon on the issue of maintaining “peace and tranquillity” along the borders.
The pacts are the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas; the 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC; the 2005 Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of the Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC; the 2012 Agreement on the Establishment of a Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs; and 2013 Border Defence Cooperation Agreement.
ThePrint had reported earlier this week that India and China are now inching towards resolving the matter amicably as established channels have been activated to de-escalate the situation.
India and China got engaged in the border standoff earlier this month across several areas of the LAC in Ladakh.
The matter escalated when Indian troops tried to prevent the People’s Liberation Army from crossing the LAC and entering the Galwan River valley and the adjoining ‘Finger’ area along the Pangong Tso.
The statement by the MEA Thursday comes a day after the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the situation between both the sides at the border areas is “stable and controllable”.
“China’s position on the boundary issue is consistent and clear… On border-related issues, there are sound mechanisms and channels of communication between China and India, and the two sides are capable of properly resolving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation,” he said.
‘Economic development key to China’
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, while addressing a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China will focus on economic growth, which will be also beneficial to the world.
“Economic development remains the key and foundation for China to address all problems,” he said during the 2-hour press conference in which he did not mention India even once.