India-China Border News: Holding Beijing responsible for the violent faceoff in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said that China has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since early May and that the conduct of Chinese forces has been in “complete disregard of all mutually agreed norms”.
“At the heart of the matter is that since early May, the Chinese side has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. “This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements, especially the key 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas.”
The Indian side, the MEA said, had to obviously undertake counter deployments and that “the resulting tension has thereafter expressed itself”. On Wednesday, the Chinese Defence Ministry had echoed Beijing’s claim to the Galwan Valley. That was the first time that the Chinese armed forces staked claim to an area that is well within Indian territory. To this, the MEA said, “The deployment of large body of troops and changes in behaviour has also been aggravated by unjustified and untenable claims. The recent shift in the Chinese position on the Galwan Valley is one example.”
New satellite images have revealed Chinese structures back at Galwan Valley, the site of the June 15 clashes that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. Top sources in the Army told The Indian Express “the tent which was removed on June 15 has been reported back by our ground troops at PP-14 (Patrolling Point 14)”. The structures have been built between June 16 and June 22 because Planet Labs satellite images of the location on June 16, a day after the clashes, do not show any such infrastructure.