Stop building new structures to help resolve border dispute: India tells China

New Delhi: The standoff between Indian and Chinese border troops can be resolved only if the Chinese side stops building new structures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India’s ambassador to China Vikram Misri said on Friday.
Reiterating India’s position that the standoff and a violent face-off on June 15 were triggered by China’s actions, Vikram Misri said in Beijing that the Chinese side has to stop the “practice of transgressing and trying to erect structures on the Indian side of the LAC”.
His remarks made it clear that the Indian side expects China to take steps that will lead to de-escalation and disengagement on the LAC and help restore peace and tranquillity along the disputed border. The comments also appeared to be a riposte to remarks by China’s envoy to India, Sun Weidong, who had said in an interview on Thursday that the onus wasn’t on his country to resolve the border standoff. Sun said he hoped the Indian side would meet the Chinese side halfway and avoid any actions that could complicate the situation.
Misri said the only way to resolve the standoff along the LAC is for China to stop erecting new structures. He further said China’s recent claim of sovereignty over Galwan Valley was completely “untenable” and such exaggerated claims are not going to help in the prevailing circumstances.
India hopes China will realise its responsibility in de-escalation and disengaging by “moving back to its side of LAC”, he said. China should also stop creating obstructions and hindrances in normal patrolling by Indian troops, he added.
India has always carried out activities on the Indian side of the LAC, he said, reiterating the line taken by the external affairs ministry in recent weeks.
The actions by Chinese forces on the ground have damaged “considerable trust in the bilateral relationship”, Misri said, adding that maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border is a “sine qua non for progress in the rest of the bilateral relationship”. China’s attempt to alter the status quo on the ground can have “ripples and repercussions” for the broader bilateral relationship, Misri said. In a strongly worded statement on Thursday, the external affairs ministry had squarely blamed China for the standoff along the LAC, saying Beijing had massed troops along the disputed frontier since May, violated a recent understanding to disengage in Galwan Valley and disregarded all mutually agreed norms for border patrols.
Accusing China of triggering several face-offs by trying to unilaterally change the status quo along the LAC, the Indian side rejected the Chinese side’s “unjustified and untenable” claim on Galwan Valley. The statement also acknowledged both sides “remain deployed in large numbers in the region”.

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