India on Thursday emphasised the need for peace and tranquillity along the border with China following two clashes between Indian and Chinese troops, saying such incidents occurred because of differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Amy chief Gen MM Naravane said Indian troops have always upheld peace and tranquillity along the frontier, and the country’s force posture would not suffer because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indian and Chinese border troops first clashed in eastern Ladakh near Pangong Lake on May 5 and then in north Sikkim last Saturday. Several soldiers on both sides were injured in these incidents, which marked the first major flare-up along the LAC since the 73-day standoff at Doklam in 2017.
“The Indian side remains committed to the objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a regular news briefing via video conference.
He noted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, during their informal summits at Wuhan in 2018 and Mamallapuram in 2019, had reaffirmed both sides will continue efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity along the border. “This is essential for the overall development of the bilateral relations,” he said.
Both the Indian army chief and the external affairs ministry spokesperson pointed out face-offs between border troops along LAC occurred because of differing perceptions of the alignment of boundaries that are not resolved.
Navarane described the face-offs as “temporary and short” and said the two incidents resulted in minor injuries to troops following “aggressive behaviour by both sides”. The two sides also “disengaged after dialogue and interaction at [the] local level”, he said.
Srivastava said such incidents could have been avoided “if we had a common perception of the LAC”. The two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such situations.
The India-China border has “largely been peaceful” as a result of directions from Modi and Xi to their militaries to “earnestly implement va