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A pre-meditated attack by China: EAM Jaishankar tells Chinese counterpart

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The violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley was a pre-meditated and planned action by China, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a telephonic conversation on Wednesday.

In first high-level talk since Monday night’s clash, which killed at least 20 Indian soldiers, EAM Jaishankar conveyed the Indian government’s protest on the violent face-off in the strongest terms.

As per the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, S Jaishankar reminded Wang Yi of the agreement to de-escalate and disengage along the Line of Actual Control reached during the meeting between senior military commanders on June 6.

“Ground commanders were meeting regularly to implement this consensus throughout the last week. While there was some progress, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan Valley on our side of the LAC. While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on the ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart.

According to the MEA, the minister also underlined that the “unprecedented” development will have a “serious” impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to “reassess” its actions and take “corrective” steps.

“The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it”, the statement read.

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry put out a separate statement which read absolutely opposite of what the Indian side said. The differing and immovable positions held by Beijing clearly shows that the two sides are not on the same page.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, according to their ministry readout, put the blame on India and urged India to “punish” those who were responsible for the violent clashes.

“We urge the Indian side to conduct a thorough investigation on this, severely punish those responsible for the incident, strictly control the frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative actions to ensure that such incidents cannot occur again. The Indian side must not misjudge the current situation and must not underestimate China’s firm will to safeguard territorial sovereignty”, the Chinese foreign ministry statement read.

India lodged a strong protest and reminded the Chinese side of what caused the disagreement to escalate into a conflict.

Both sides are trying to work out a way to normalise situation amid heightened tensions. Both agreed that the two sides need to act responsibly and ensure matters do not “escalate”.

“The conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely. Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols”, said MEA statement.

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