New Delhi: Amid rising tensions between India and China over fresh clashes in Ladakh, New Delhi Thursday said the only way forward in the ongoing border face-off with Beijing is “negotiations” and “peaceful dialogue”.
“The ground commanders are still holding discussions to resolve the situation. We reiterate the consensus reached between the two foreign ministers and the special representatives that the situation in the border should be handled in a responsible manner and either side should not take any provocative action or escalate matters,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), at a media briefing.
This comes amid reports of fresh clashes between Indian and Chinese forces on the intervening night of 29 August and 30 August as well as on 31 August at Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Before this, both sides had a violent face-off on 15 June at the Galwan Valley in which India lost 20 soldiers.
Srivastava added, “It is clear that the situation we witnessed over the past four months is a direct result of the actions taken by the Chinese side that sought to effect unilateral change of status quo… Now the way ahead is negotiations, both through the diplomatic and military channels.”
He also said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will be visiting Moscow on 10 September to attend the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers. Chinese minister Wang Yi will also attend the meet.
The ground commanders’ level meeting took place last Sunday as the situation became tense near the Pangong Tso between both the troops.
Earlier this week, India had said their troops had to take “timely defensive action” due to the “provocative action” by the People’s Liberation Army.
Urge China to ‘sincerely engage’ with India
Srivastava said, “Indian side is committed to resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue. We, therefore, strongly urge the Chinese side to sincerely engage with the Indian side with the objective of expeditiously restoring peace and tranquility in the border areas through complete disengagement and de-escalation in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.”
China, meanwhile, has said it has not provoked any “war or conflict” and has “never occupied an inch of other country’s territory.
“Chinese troops never crossed the line. Perhaps there are some communication issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said Tuesday.
Beijing also said it was the Indian troops that had “illegally trespassed” the LAC by “violating the consensus” and “conducted flagrant provocations”.