NEW DELHI: Rejecting China's claim of sovereignty over the
, India on Saturday said that its position with regard to the area has been historically clear and the attempts by the Chinese side to advance exaggerated and untenable claims along the
are not acceptable.
Days after India trashed the
's claim of sovereignty over the Galwan valley and asked
to confine its activities to its side of the LAC, China's foreign ministry had claimed that the Galwan valley was on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Responding to the queries on the statement issued by China on the events in the Galwan valley, ministry of external affairs
said that the attempts by the Chinese side are not in accordance with Beijing's own position in the past.
The comments came after the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese army in eastern
on the night of June 15 in which 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, were killed.
The MEA said that the Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC in all the sectors of the India-China border areas, including in the Galwan valley.
"They abide by it scrupulously here, as they do elsewhere. The Indian side has never undertaken any actions across the LAC. In fact, they have been patrolling this area for a long time without any incident. All infrastructure built by the Indian side is naturally on its own side of the LAC," Srivastava said.
He added, "Since early May 2020, the Chinese side has been hindering India's normal, traditional patrolling pattern in this area. This had resulted in a face-off which was addressed by the ground commanders as per the provisions of the bilateral agreements and protocols. We do not accept the contention that India was unilaterally changing the status quo. On the contrary, we were maintaining it.
"Subsequently in mid-May, the Chinese side attempted to transgress the LAC in other areas of the western sector of the India-China border areas. These attempts were invariably met with an appropriate response from us. Thereafter, the two sides were engaged in discussions through established diplomatic and military channels to address the situation arising out of Chinese activities on the LAC," he said.
The MEA further informed that the senior commanders met on June 6 and agreed on a process for de-escalation and disengagement along the LAC that involved reciprocal actions.
"Both sides had agreed to respect and abide by the LAC and not undertake any activity to alter the status quo. However, the Chinese side departed from these understandings in respect of the LAC in the Galwan valley area and sought to erect structures just across the LAC. When this attempt was foiled, Chinese troops took violent actions on June 15 that directly resulted in casualties," the MEA spokesperson said.
"External affairs minister and foreign minister of China
had a conversation on June 17 wherein the EAM conveyed our protest in the strongest terms on the events leading up to and on the violent face-off on June 15. He firmly rejected the unfounded allegations made by the Chinese side and the misrepresentation of the understandings reached between the senior commanders. He also underlined that it was for China to reassess its actions and take corrective steps," Srivastava added.
The two ministers also agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and that both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely. The two sides are in regular touch and early meetings of military and diplomatic mechanisms are currently being discussed.
"We expect that the Chinese side will sincerely follow the understanding reached between the foreign ministers to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas, which is so essential for the overall development of our bilateral relations," the MEA said.