Ladakh; India and China on Tuesday exchanged sharp statements accusing each other of the continuing border tensions, describing China’s Line of Actual Control (LAC) claims as “untenable” and Beijing saying it “did not recognize” the Union Territory of Ladakh. The LAC of 1959 was first referenced in a letter from then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to Jawaharlal Nehru. The idea rejected then by Nehru and subsequently never accepted by India.
“India has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC),” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, in response to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry that the LAC was “clear” and that “it is the LAC of November 7, 1959”.
“While we don’t recognize the 1959 claim line, even going by their own 1959 line which runs near Patrolling Point (PP)14, the clash in Galway Valley happened approximately 800 meters west of PP14, “So they are violating their claims”.” an official said. In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in response to a question on India’s border infrastructure projects in Ladakh, said it did not “recognize” Ladakh, reiterating its statements from last year that described the creation of the union territory as “illegal” because it included Aksai Chin, currently occupied by China, within its boundaries.
The statements came amid a continuing stalemate along the border. Both sides agreed to not extend troops to the LAC following the sixth round of talks between Corp Commanders on September 21, but there has not yet been agreement on disengagement and returning to the current status before May’s trespassing by China. Asked about China’s infrastructure projects in border areas and the asymmetry that Beijing has enjoyed because of its infrastructure developments, Mr. Wang said China “consistently and strictly abides by the agreements signed with the Indian side”.