China condemns US general’s remarks about India’s border in Ladakh as “disgraceful”
China–Following a visit to India by a US general who described Chinese activity in eastern Ladakh as “eye-opening,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) stated on Thursday that China and India have the will and capability to resolve the border situation through dialogue and consultation, and that US officials were attempting to “add fuel to the fire.”
China’s reaction followed remarks made by US Army Pacific Commanding General Charles A. Flynn, who is in India for a four-day visit. In an interview with media on Wednesday, Flynn discussed China’s “alarming” infrastructure expansion along its borders with India in the Ladakh sector, calling the Chinese efforts there “eye-opening.”
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated during a regular press briefing, “Some US officials have pointed fingers in an attempt to stoke the fire and push a wedge between the two nations. This is a deplorable situation. We expect that the US would do more to promote regional peace and stability.”
India said that it is closely monitoring developments along its border territories, especially Chinese infrastructure work in the eastern Ladakh sector.
“India closely watches developments along our borders, including Chinese infrastructure projects in the western sector as well as that being performed in more in-depth areas,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a press conference.
“As recent events have clearly proved, the administration is dedicated to and takes all adequate and relevant steps to defend territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Bagchi added.
He said that the Indian government has taken a number of steps in recent years to improve infrastructure along the border areas, not only to suit India’s strategic and security needs, but also to help the areas’ economic development.
Using the term “border situation” to describe the situation at the border is a misnomer “”The front-line armies of the two nations have realized disengagement in most portions of the Western sector of the China-India boundary,” the Chinese official said. The border dispute between China and India is a bilateral issue.”
In May of this year, India and China held border discussions and agreed to hold the next round of Senior Commanders meetings as soon as possible. Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have taken place to end the situation since the Galwan clash last year. Although certain border sites have been disengaged, there is a general deadlock on complete disengagement.
“We have maintained ongoing communication with the Chinese side both through diplomatic and military channels as far as the current situation (in eastern Ladakh) is concerned,” MEA spokeswoman Bagchi said.
In its Year-End evaluation, the Defence Ministry noted that unilateral and aggressive measures by the Chinese to change the status quo by force in more than one region on the LAC had been replied to as an adequate response.