India rejects China’s claims on location of LAC in Ladakh

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi (NVI): India today categorically rejected the Chinese interpretation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, saying that it has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 LAC and this position has been consistent and well known, including to the Chinese side.

MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava, while responding to queries on a media report, quoting a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement regarding China’s position on the LAC, said that the 1959 claim made by Beijing was not mutually agreed upon.

Srivastava said that India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC, under various bilateral agreements.

He mentioned the agreements between both the sides including the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC, 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field, 2005 Protocol on Implementation of CBMs, 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China Boundary Question.

“In fact, the two sides had engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC up to 2003, but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it,” the MEA spokesman said.

“Therefore, the insistence now of the Chinese side that there is only one LAC is contrary to the solemn commitments made by China in these agreements,” he added.

Srivastava said the Indian side has always respected and abided by the LAC and mentioned the statement of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Parliament recently, in which he stated that it is the Chinese side which by its attempts to transgress the LAC in various parts of the Western Sector, has tried to unilaterally alter the status quo.

In the last few months, the Chinese side has repeatedly affirmed that the current situation in the border areas should be resolved in accordance with the agreements signed between the two countries, the MEA spokesman said. However, when it comes to the position of LAC, Beijing doesn’t respect the agreements between the two countries that have mutually signed so far.

Also, in the agreement reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on September 10 in Moscow, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements, Srivastava said.

“We, therefore, expect that the Chinese side will sincerely and faithfully abide by all agreements and understandings in their entirety and refrain from advancing an untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC,” the MEA spokesman said.

-ARK