Beijing on Wednesday reiterated that the Galwan Valley belonged to China even as the Chinese foreign ministry, while again blaming India for the June 15 violence on the LAC, said it didn’t want to see more border clashes with India.
“For us, obviously, we don’t want to see more clashes,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said when asked if there could be more violence on the LAC. He quoted from a PLA statement on Tuesday to say that China “owns sovereignty over the Galwan Valley region”. A mix of assertive and cooling signals seemed to mark Chinese statements two days after the bloody clash.
This is significant because the border in the Galwan Valley was said to have been settled, being free of intrusions and claims till recently. According to Indian officials, this is possibly the first time in several decades that China is openly claiming ownership of the area. “The facts are straightforward, so are the rights and wrongs. It (clash) happened on the Chinese side of the LAC. The onus is not on China,” the spokesperson said when reminded that the LAC in Galwan Valley had been settled.
The spokesperson was also evasive when asked about reports of casualties on the Chinese side. “I believe you have also noticed that since the incident happened, both sides have affirmed commitment to resolving disputes through dialogue and upholding peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” he said.
“As the two largest developing countries and emerging markets, China and India have far more common interests than differences. Both sides need to faithfully follow the important consensus reached between the two leaders to ensure that China-India relations proceed along the right track. We hope that the Indian side will work with us and meet the Chinese side halfway,” Zhao added. Significantly, the state print media seemed to have largely ignored the border clash.