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India will not allow any unilateral attempt by China to alter LAC: EAM Jaishankar

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New Delhi, Jun 18: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that India will not allow any unilateral attempt by China to change the status quo or alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while asserting that through an enormous logistical effort, the country had countered the Chinese at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

India will not allow any unilateral attempt by China to alter LAC: EAM Jaishankar

Speaking over the eastern Ladakh border row, the minister said China violated 1993 and 1996 agreements by massing troops on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). "Even though we were in the midst of COVID-19 at that time, through an enormous logistical effort, which I think sometimes has not been adequately recognised by people, by analysts, even in our politics in this country, we were actually able to counter them at the LAC," PTI quoted Jaishankar as saying at a town hall organised by CNN-News18.

Elaborating on the border dispute, he said some people have a simplistic idea of the border. "What has happened as a result of this is because they (China) had forward deployments which were new and we counter-deployed, we also had forward deployments. You ended up with a very sort of intricate mix...which was very dangerous because they were too proximate, the rules of engagement were not being observed and then, exactly what we apprehended happened at Galwan two years ago. It became violent and there were casualties," Jaishankar said.

"Since then, we have had a situation where we negotiate the friction points. When you say have you yielded results, many of those friction points have been resolved," he said. "There are areas where they pulled back, we pulled back. Remember, both of us are very much in advance of what our pre-April positions were. Has it all been done? No. Have we made substantial solutions? Actually, yes," Jaishankar said.

"It is hard work. It is very patient work, but we are very clear on one point, which is, we will not allow any unilateral attempt by China to change the status quo or alter the LAC," he said. "I do not care how long it takes, how many rounds we do, how hard we have to negotiate -- this is something we are very clear of," Jaishankar said. He also said the talks with China have not come to an end. At the Delhi Dialogue on Thursday, Jaishankar had asserted that the development of India-China ties has to be based on mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutuality of interests.

He had also said the state of the border will be reflected on the state of the Sino-India relationship. The remarks came amid a standoff between India and China that began in early May of 2020.

As a result of military talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the LAC are key for the overall development of the bilateral ties.

The Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, when a violent clash between the two sides erupted in the Pangong lake area. China has also been building bridges and constructing other infrastructure such as roads and residential units in the border areas with India.

India and China have held 15 rounds of military talks so far to resolve the Ladakh standoff. As a result of the talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. PTI

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