Ladakh standoff: China says Galwan Valley on its side of LAC, makes move to woo new trade partners
Asked about growing calls in India to boycott Chinese goods, foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the two countries can cooperate to maintain long term bilateral relationships.
NEW DELHI: China on Friday again blamed India for the Galwan Valley. clash “Regarding the serious situation in Galwan Valley, right and wrong is very clear and the responsibility entirely lies with the Indian side. India and China are in talks to ease the situation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
India has already dismissed China's claim of sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, saying such "exaggerated" and "untenable" claims are contrary to the understanding reached during a high-level military dialogue on June 6.
During a media briefing here, Zhao Lijian again blamed India for the violent face-off in eastern Ladakh on the night of June 15 in which 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, were killed, and issued a press note giving 'step-by-step account of the Galwan clash' as per China.
Zhao's reiteration of Beijing's claim over the Galwan Valley came a day after the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said "given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). We expect the Chinese side to also confine it's activities to it's side of the LAC."
"The Galwan Valley lies on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in the western section of the China-India border. For many years, Chinese border guards have been patrolling and performing their duties normally," he said.
In the press note on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website, Zhao also said "a second commander-level meeting should happen as soon as possible to deal with the situation on the ground".
The two sides are in communication on easing the situation through diplomatic and military channels.
China attaches importance to China-India relations and hopes that India will work with China to jointly maintain the larger picture of the long-term development of bilateral relations.
"The two sides agreed to handle in a just manner the serious situation caused by the Galwan Valley clash, observe the agreement reached during the commander-level meeting, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and tranquility of the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements reached so far," he said.
"China hopes that India will work with us, follow faithfully the important consensus reached between the two leaders, abide by the agreements reached between the two governments, and strengthen communication and coordination on properly managing the current situation through diplomatic and military channels, and jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas," Zhao said.
Asked about growing calls in India to boycott Chinese goods, Lijian said the two countries can cooperate to maintain long term bilateral relationships.
Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, the Chinese government mouthpiece, blamed India for the death of its soldiers.
“In fact, most of the Indian soldiers died due to the backward logistical support of the Indian army. China shouldn’t be blamed,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, in what appears to be a reaction to calls for boycott of Chinese goods in India, Beijing made 98 per cent of products coming in from Bangladesh duty-free from July 1.
Experts say this is a direct signal that China can look beyond India in the region to further its interests.
“It should serve as a wake-up call for India. Cutting trade ties with Beijing will be more harmful for New Delhi. With China targeting India’s age-old allies like Bangladesh, it should be taken seriously. It is also interesting that countries like Bangladesh have not expressed support for India in the Galwan Valley incident,” a researcher at the Institute of Chinese Studies said.
Sinologist BR Deepak also urged India to strategically trade with China.
(With PTI Inputs)