India should “immediately” correct its mistakes and disengage at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as soon as possible, China said on Thursday, once again blaming New Delhi for the ongoing tension in eastern Ladakh.
The Chinese foreign ministry said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops always abide by the agreements between the two countries on maintaining peace and tranquility along the disputed boundary.
It is imperative for India to immediately correct its wrong practices, disengage on the ground as soon as possible and take concrete actions to ease the tension along the China-India border, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a ministry briefing.
Chinese border troops, he said, have always “strictly” abided by the agreements between the two countries; they are committed to safeguarding China’s territorial sovereignty and maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas.
On Wednesday, Wang had said China was not to blame for the ongoing crisis at the border, which has plunged bilateral ties to its worst levels in decades.
“But China is not to blame for the current situation. It is the Indian side that has breached the agreements, first trespassed the territory first and fired shots to threaten the safety of the Chinese border troops first,” Wang said on Wednesday.
The Indian government has already dismissed similar allegations made by the Chinese earlier, saying that PLA troops were the first to provoke and not ready to disengage.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava clearly spelt out the Indian government’s position on the disengagement process earlier, saying the LAC “must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
Separately on Thursday, the nationalistic tabloid Global Times accused India of not being sincere in honouring the consensus to disengage in the backdrop of Thursday’s meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) national security advisors.
The article said while the meeting is a good opportunity to ease the ongoing border tensions between China and India, it depends on India’s sincerity.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, are expected to attend the BRICS video conference organised by Russia.
Hu Zhiyong, from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that China should be prepared to face the fact that a consensus with India is possible if they meet, but should also remain vigilant over whether India can keep its promises.
Zhao Gancheng, from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said since Yang and Doval know each other for a long time, the BRICS meeting brings hopes of peace.
Zhao, however, added that whether the ultimate solution will be reached depends on India, as it has been showing no sign of conceding since the border standoff in May, and continues to provoke the PLA.