India-China Standoff: MEA issues Strong Statement

India-China Standoff: MEA issues Strong Statement

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday issued an official statement over the violent face-off between Indian troops and soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Galwan Valley on Monday night.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “India and China have been discussing, through military and diplomatic channels, the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh.”

The Ministry of External Affairs said that both China and India suffered causalities as China tried to unilaterally change status quo and departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley.

Ministry of External Affairs said that on late-evening and night of June 15, a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by Chinese side to unilaterally change status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had agreement at higher level been scrupulously followed by Chinese side.

As per reports, 20 Indian Army soldiers were martyred in the face-off and at least 43 soldiers died on the Chinese side.

Anurag Srivastava said, “Senior commanders had a productive meeting on June 6 and agreed on a process for de-escalation which was followed by a series of meets between ground commanders to implement consensus.”

MEA said, “Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side.”

Anurag Srivastava further said, “We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening as the Indian Army’s standoff with Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley saw violent escalation. Earlier, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Later, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.

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