India

Presence of of Chinese troops with weapons at LAC a critical security challenge: Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: Behaviour of Chinese troops on the Ladakh border is a sharp departure from a course of relationship over 30 years, and and has left the relationship between India and China “profoundly disturbed, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said.
The violent clashes have also had a very deep public and political impact, the minister said, while speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Asia Society.
Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh on June 15, that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China has not officially acknowledged the number of casualties on its side.
Jaishankar said India has built the relationship with China over the last 30 years on the basis of peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control.
He said there are multiple agreements, starting from 1993, which created the framework for peace and tranquillity, limited the military forces that came to the border areas, and set a template on how to manage the border, and how border troops behave when they approach each other.
“So, from the conceptual level down to the behavioural level, there was an entire sort of framework out there. Now, what we saw this year was a departure from this entire series of agreements. The massing of large amount of Chinese forces on the border was clearly contrary to all of this,” Jaishankar said.
“There are today a very large number of troops with weapons concentrated on that segment of the border and that is obviously a very critical security challenge that we face,” he said.
He attributed the Galwan clashes to a departure from the set template, and said he has found no explanation for the violent behaviour by Chinese troops..
“To underline the enormity of that, it was the first military casualty we had after 1975. So what it has done is, it has obviously had a very deep public impact, very major political impact and it has left the relationship profoundly disturbed,” Jaishankar said.
(With agency inputs)

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