New Delhi, Sep 29: India today said it comprehensively rejects Chinese claims on the location of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, with a reminder that the 1959 claim made by Beijing was not mutually agreed upon. Both nations “committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding” and the Chinese side’s assertion that there is only one LAC, is contrary to the “solemn commitments” it made, the foreign ministry said today.
The Indian position has been consistent and well known to the Chinese side, the ministry said.
Till 2003, the two sides had also engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC, “but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it”, the ministry said.
The ministry’s comments came after a news report on a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement regarding Beijing’s position on the LAC, the de facto border between the two nations. In the statement, China had quoted the 1959 understanding, which has been consistently rejected by New Delhi.
The disagreement on the LAC in the western sector started with a letter written to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by his Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai in 1959. In it, the description of the LAC was given in general terms and was not defined to scale.
The different perceptions about the LAC were at the bottom of the repeated flare-ups at the border where “the Chinese and Indian perceptions of LAC overlap”, Union minister Rajnath Singh had told the Lok Sabha earlier this month.
To ensure peace and tranquility, the two countries concluded a number of agreements and protocols, he had told the Lok Sabha in a statement following the months-long face-off in Ladakh which spiked in June with a clash at Galwan Valley in which 20 soldiers died in action.
“Under these agreements, the two sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquility along the LAC without prejudice to their respective positions on the alignment of the LAC as well as on the boundary question. It is on this basis, that our overall relations also saw considerable progress since 1988,” the minister had said.
Following the recent face-offs in Ladakh that started in May, India has accused China of “attempts to transgress the LAC (to) unilaterally alter the status quo”. India has also urged China to “refrain from untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC”.