Situation at Sino-India boundary ‘stable and controllable’, says China



China on Wednesday said the situation at Sino-India boundary was “stable and controllable” and indicated bilateral negotiations were on at diplomatic and military levels to de-escalate tension between border troops.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it was firm about protecting its territorial sovereignty.

Indian and Chinese soldiers are said to be locked eyeball-to-eyeball at four locations along the line of actual control (LAC), which experts said could escalate into a standoff more serious in nature than the one that chilled ties in Doklam (Donglang in Chinese) in 2017.

Reports say thousands of troops have been amassed by both sides in an evolving situation.

Answering a question on whether talks were on to de-escalate the situation, foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said: “I think we have established border-related mechanisms and diplomatic channels. This includes the communication between border troops, and between our diplomatic missions”.

“Between the two countries, we have good border-related mechanism and communication channels. We are capable of resolving related issues properly though dialogue and consultation,” he said at the regular ministry briefing on Wednesday.

He neither confirmed nor denied a question on reports, which said China had deployed more than 5,000 troops at the flashpoints.

Zhao said China was following the “important consensus” reached by the two leaders of India and China and was “…strictly observing the agreements between the two countries”.

“We are committed to safeguarding our territorial sovereignty and security and safeguarding peace and stability in the border areas. Now, the China-India border area situation is overall stable and controllable,” Zhao.

China has so far not released details about the situation on the ground.

It had denied being the aggressor in a statement to the Hindustan Times on May 19.

“For some time now, the Indian army has crossed in Chinese territory in the western and Sikkim sections of the China-India border, obstructing the normal patrol and operation of Chinese border troops and attempting to unilaterally change the state quo of border control. China has to take necessary countermeasures,” the foreign ministry statement said.

Tensions have flared between border troops this month; in Naku La, in north Sikkim, where 150 soldiers were involved in a tense clash a day earlier, and also near Pangong Lake in the Ladakh sector.

While not sharing details, Beijing has allowed state-controlled media to publish comment pieces blaming India for the current situation.

“India in recent days has illegally constructed defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region, leaving Chinese border defense troops no other options but making necessary moves in response, and mounting the risk of escalating standoffs and conflicts between the two sides,” Long Xingchun, president of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs wrote in the nationalistic and state-controlled tabloid, Global Times.

Long added that unlike previous standoffs, the latest border friction was not caused by accident, but was a planned move of New Delhi.

“India has been clearly and definitely aware that the Galwan Valley region is Chinese territory. But according to media reports, since early May, India has been crossing the boundary line into the Galwan Valley region and entering Chinese territory”.

“Indian soldiers have also deliberately instigated conflicts with their Chinese counterparts. If India failed to stop such provocations as soon as possible, it will impact on Beijing-New Delhi ties – and may even exceed the sort of intensity of the Doklam standoff,” he added.

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