Australia opposes China’s move to alter status quo on LAC

New Delhi (NVI): As China continues to maintain its aggressive stance on the Ladakh border, Australia slammed it today, saying any unilateral attempt by Beijing to change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India would “increase tension and the risk of instability”.

Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell said China should observe the bilaterally-agreed principles and norms that have helped “prevent escalation or miscalculation” in the border areas with India over many decades.

In a statement, he said, “Australia urges restraint along LAC and supports continued moves towards de-escalation.”

O’Farrell said he has told India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that, “Australia opposes any attempts by China to unilaterally alter status-quo at the Line of Actual Control, which only serve to increase tension and the risk of instability.”

His statement came as the military faceoff continues on the LAC, with China refusing to move back its troops and disengage completely.

India has maintained that China should sincerely undertake complete disengagement and de-escalation as agreed during several rounds of talks, including at the level of National Security Adviser.

The Australian High Commissioner also referred to the Indo-Pacific region where China has stepped up its aggression lately, saying his country favours open, free and rules-based region.

“Territorial disputes and competing claims should be resolved peacefully by claimant countries and in ways consistent with international law,” he added.