BEIJING: China and India should “follow through” on the border agreements to uphold peace and tranquility at the Line of Actual Control, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said on Monday, after external affairs minister S Jaishankar blamed Beijing for the current situation at the LAC due to the disregard of written agreements by China.
“On the border issue, China always maintains that we should follow through on treaties and agreements we signed and we jointly uphold peace and tranquility at the border region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said while responding to Jaishankar’s remarks.
“We hope the two sides will continue to maintain communication through military and diplomatic channels to resolve the outstanding issues,” Wang said.
Speaking at a joint press conference along with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne at Melbourne on Saturday, Jaishankar said when a large country disregards written commitments, it’s an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community.
He was responding to a question on the eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries.
When asked whether the India-China border standoff issue came up for discussion during the Quad Foreign ministers’ meeting here on Friday, Jaishankar replied, “Yes”.
“Yes, we (Quad) had a discussion on India-China relations because it was part of how we briefed each other about what was happening in our neighbourhood. And it’s an issue in which a lot of countries legitimately take interest, particularly if they are from the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
The situation at the LAC has arisen due to the disregard by China in 2020 of written agreements with India not to mass forces at the border, he said.
“So, when a large country disregards written commitments, I think it’s an issue of legitimate concern for the entire international community,” he added.
To another question on the clash between India and China on the border had been discussed during the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Quad comprising the US, India, Australia and Japan in Melbourne and Jaishankar blaming China for the ongoing border conflict, Wang reiterated Beijing’s oft repeated stand on the eastern Ladakh standoff and said that the responsibility does not rest with China.
“As to the China-India relations the merits of the matters are very clear and responsibility does not rest with China,” he said.
“Now the two sides are in communication on improving the border management and the measures to building trust, we hope the Indian side will abide by our agreements do not issue irresponsible remarks and to uphold the peace and tranquility along the border region with concrete actions,” Wang said.
Ahead of the Quad foreign minsters meeting Beijing attacked Quad alliance saying that it is a “tool” to contain China’s rise.
“China believes that the so-called Quad group cobbled together by the US, Japan, India and Australia is essentially a tool for containing and besieging China to maintain US hegemony,” another Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media on Friday.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
The tension escalated following a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley.
After a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February and in the Gogra area in August last year.
India and China held the 14th round of Corps Commander-level meeting on January 12 during which the two sides agreed to maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels to work out a “mutually acceptable resolution” of the remaining issues of the standoff at eastern Ladakh.