The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has categorically rejected China’s interpretation of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In response to a media query, MEA issued a statement saying India has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC). This position has been consistent and well known, including to the Chinese side.
The MEA response said, “Furthermore, under their various bilateral agreements 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, both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC.”
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, MEA added.
Rejecting China’s claims, MEA said, “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.
As we have previously made clear, the Indian side has always respected and abided by the LAC. As the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stated in the Parliament recently, 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.”
MEA added, “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. In the agreement reached between External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart on 10th September also, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements.”
The MEA statement 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.”
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