LAC Clash: It was premeditated and planned action

Day after 20 Indian soldiers died in a violent clash with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar registered a strong protest with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and called the incident a result of ‘pre-meditated and planned action’ by the Chinese side that led to violence and casualties. “It reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” the minister told his Chinese counterpart in the first diplomatic engagement since the incident on Monday night.

Media reports emerging from China quoted Wang Yi as seeking an investigation by India into the clashes and demanding action against those responsible, squarely putting the onus on Indian troops. However, the Ministry of External Affairs maintained that through the phone call on Wednesday afternoon Jaishankar conveyed a ‘protest of the Government of India in the strongest terms’. Jaishankar recalled the agreement of June 6 on de-escalation and disengagement and how ground commanders were meeting regularly to implement this consensus throughout last week.

“While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the Line of Actual Control. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action…” he told the Chinese minister and added that ‘unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship.’ India has also told China that ‘the need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps.’ He insisted that ‘troops of both sides should abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols and strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and not take any unilateral action to alter it.’ The State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, on his part, conveyed the Chinese position on recent developments.

MEA officials said that the discussion concluded on the agreement that the ‘overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner’ and ‘both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely.’ “Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols,” an official statement read.

The PM is slated to address the nation on June 21, next Sunday, when apart from the Covid-19 situation, he is expected to make a comment on the border issue too.

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