Striking a conciliatory note after incidents on the India-China border, India on Thursday invoked the spirits of the Wuhan and Mahabuliparam summits in which both sides had reaffirmed that they will make efforts to “ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Occasionally, however, on account of difference in perception of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control, situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC.” This is alluding to the demarcation of the boundary and exchange of maps, which Delhi has been insisting upon.
Army Chief General M M Naravane said in a statement that “temporary and short duration faceoffs between border guarding troops do occur along the LAC due to the differing perceptions of the alignment of boundaries which are not resolved”. Claiming that troops from both sides were aggressive, which resulted in scuffles at two different points in different commands, he said “there were two incidents at Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim where aggressive behaviour by both sides resulted in minor injuries to troops post which both sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at local level”.
Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Naku La area in north Sikkim and Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh were involved in scuffles and stone-pelting in the first week of May. The Army had stated the soldiers disengaged after intervention of senior officers at the local level. The tension has been around for over two months as the People’s Liberation Army tried to stop Indian troops from patrolling.
The Army chief downplayed the tension between Indian and Chinese troops at two points along the LAC.
“It is reiterated that both these incidents are neither co-related nor do they have any connection with other global or local activities. All such incidents are managed by established mechanisms where-in local formations from both sides resolve issues mutually as per established protocols and strategic guidelines given by the PM (Prime Minister) after the Wuhan and Mallaparam summits,” the Army chief said.
The MEA spokesperson Thursday said India and China attach “utmost importance” to maintenance of peace in border areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in their informal Summits in Wuhan (2018) and in Chennai (2019), had reaffirmed both sides will continue to make efforts to ensure peace in the border areas.
Recalling that the two leaders had also directed their militaries to implement confidence building measures agreed upon and strengthen institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions, Srivastava said, “As a result, India-China border has largely been peaceful.”
He also said the two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such situations as and when they arise.
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