Border standoff: India says China should work for complete disengagement

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New Delhi: India said Thursday that China should take forward the process for complete disengagement of troops from all friction points in eastern Ladakh. India also asked China not to make unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

A media briefing by External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava was done here Thursday. He said both sides should focus on easing tensions in the friction areas. They can do so by refraining from any actions that may lead to an escalation in the situation.

There have been at least three attempts by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to destroy peace. They tried to ‘intimidate’ Indian troops along the northern and southern bank of Pangong lake. These incidents took place in the last three week where even shots were fired in the air for the first time at the LAC in 45 years, informed Srivastava.

“The Chinese side should sincerely work with the Indian side for complete disengagement at the earliest. Disengagement should be done from all friction areas including Pangong lake as well as de-escalation in border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols on maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas,” Srivastava said.

The assertion by Srivastava came in the backdrop of remarks by Chinese foreign ministry Wednesday that it was for India to initiate the process to disengage and restore peace along the border areas.

“We hope the Chinese side will strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and not make further attempts to unilaterally change status quo,” said Srivastava.

The MEA spokesperson also referred to the ‘consensus’ arrived at separate meetings between defence ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries in Moscow September 4 and September 10 respectively.

“There was consensus between the ministers of the two sides, during both the meetings, that there should be quick and complete disengagement of troops from all friction areas along the LAC,” Srivastava said.

“Both sides should, therefore, focus on easing tensions in the friction areas by refraining from any actions that may lead to an escalation in the situation. This requires strict adherence to the bilateral agreements and protocols and not making unilateral attempts to change the status quo,” he added.

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