New Delhi: Rejecting China’s claim of sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, the site in Ladakh where the violent showdown took place, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a strong rebuttal and stated that attempts by Beijing to now advance “exaggerated and untenable claims” with regard to Line of Actual Control there are not acceptable.
“The position with regard to the Galwan Valley area has been historically clear… They are not in accordance with China’s own position in the past,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.
On Friday, China had said the Galwan valley was “located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control”, making an unprecedented formal claim on an area that has always been under India’s control. The Galwan Valley has not figured in China’s maps since 1962.
China lays claim to Galwan Valley
China says the Galwan Valley where Chinese and Indian troops were engaged in a deadly clash falls entirely within its territory, as Beijing blamed New Delhi for the June 15 military clash at the border that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement on Friday that the Galwan Valley, which is part of the disputed Ladakh region, is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) - the de facto border between the two Asian rivals.
Zhao accused India of violating the agreement the two countries had reached on June 6 regarding the LAC, calling it a "deliberate provocation" on New Delhi's part.
He said that "the rights and wrongs ... are very clear and the responsibility rests entirely with the Indian side".
In a series of tweets, Zhao said that Indians had since April unilaterally built roads, bridges and other facilities in the region.
The statement contradicts Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar who had earlier said that the fighting erupted after "the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC".
In the worst flare-up on the LAC in more than five decades, 20 Indian Army personnel, including the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar, were killed Monday night in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh where disengagement of troops on either side was underway. It was the first time in the last 45 years that Indian or Chinese troops have been killed on the LAC.
Source: News Agencies
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