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In twin offensive, China talks of severe consequences for vile acts

Even as India and China held another round of diplomatic talks on the border issue, Beijing on Wednesday stepped up its offensive by reiterating its claims over the Galwan Valley and holding Indian troops entirely responsible for the June 15 clashes.

Accusing Indian troops of breaching basic norms “governing international relations”, China said their adventurous acts were of a “vile nature” and "have severe consequences”. Both the Chinese defence and foreign ministries said the Galwan Valley was on the Chinese side. The foreign ministry also accused India’s ministry of external affairs and Indian media of issuing “false reports” about recent developments in Galwan Valley.

The Indian side didn’t officially respond to the allegations which came a day after the countries agreed to a gradual and “verifiable” disengagement of troops following a top-level military commanders’ meeting. Recalling India’s earlier statement, official sources said India had already made its position clear on Chinese claims which have never in the past extended up to the Galwan estuary.

Responding to China’s “step-by-step” account last week of developments at the border, in which it claimed the Galwan Valley, the MEA had asked Beijing not to make untenable claims and also not to misrepresent the understandings of the June 6 meeting of senior commanders.

The Chinese defence ministry yet again claimed that India had “promised” to not cross the estuary of the Galwan river to patrol or build facilities. The foreign ministry followed it up by stating that in the presence of China’s diplomatic representations and military pressure, India had originally agreed to withdraw its personnel who crossed the LAC and dismantled the facilities it built across the line as China demanded.

“The two sides also agreed to build observation posts on either side of the Galwan river estuary. However, the Indian side later reneged on the consensus, wantonly demanded that China dismantle its observation post,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

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