New Delhi: India and China are holding another round of talks Thursday, the third since Monday’s clash in Eastern Ladakh, even as New Delhi rejected Beijing’s claim over the Galwan Valley as “exaggerated and untenable”.
Sources said the 3 Div Commander is meeting his Chinese counterpart to ease the tensions that have built up since the clash in Galwan Valley late Monday evening, which claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and caused injuries to several others.
As reported by ThePrint Tuesday, the Chinese side following the first round of talks released certain Indian soldiers who were hurt and held captive by them.
A second round was held Wednesday to ease the tensions but it ended in a stalemate, sources said.
The sources said even though both sides have disengaged from the flash point, which the Ministry of External Affairs has said is on Indian side of the LAC, heavy build-up continues on both sides.
“While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties,” the MEA statement said Wednesday.
However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted as saying by Global Times, “The incident was very clear, as it happened on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the responsibility did not rest with China.”
Sovereignty claim over Galwan Valley against 6 June understanding: MEA
In a statement issued by the MEA past Wednesday midnight, India responded to China’s claims of sovereignty over the Galwan Valley area, saying it goes against the understanding reached to handle the issues in a responsible manner.
“As we have conveyed earlier today External Affairs Minister and the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China had a phone conversation on recent developments in Ladakh. Both sides have agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on 6th June should be implemented sincerely.”
It added, “Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding.”
Meanwhile, Indian authorities are reviewing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and rules of engagement being followed by its soldiers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the wake of repeated violence by the Chinese.
Sources in the defence and security establishments told ThePrint the exercise will include the review of the practice of not carrying firearms at the LAC.
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