K J M Varma
China on Wednesday said maintaining peace along the Sino-India border is in the common interest of both the countries and requires joint effort, even as it accused the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Indian media of making ‘‘some false’’ claims during the border tension.
In separate statements, the Chinese foreign and the defence ministries also repeated Beijing's stand that India was responsible for the June 15 violent face-off in eastern Ladakh.
While Defence Ministry Spokesman Col Wu Qian asserted that China and India are "important neighbours to each other" and the two sides should make great efforts to jointly ease the current border situation, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian again accused India of "provoking" a border clash, saying "the onus is not on China's part."
Zhao also alleged that the MEA and the Indian media have made "some false reports."
Asked why after a positive meeting between the army commanders of India and China, he is making these allegations, Zhao said, "What I have just said is meant to clarify the whole situation, tell the truth to everyone. We made this statement because the MEA in India and also Indian media have made some false reports."
In New Delhi, the MEA issued a release after the countries held diplomatic talks which said India and China have agreed that expeditious implementation of the previously agreed understanding on disengagement of troops from standoff points in eastern Ladakh would help ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
During the talks, which were held between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the MEA, and Wu Jianghao, Director General in the Chinese foreign ministry, through video conferencing, the situation in the region was discussed in detail and the Indian side conveyed its concerns over the violent face-off in Galwan.
"In this regard, it was emphasised that both sides should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control," the MEA added.
In the Chinese text circulated in his online press conference, the Chinese defence ministry spokesman said the two defence ministers are negotiating on phone but the English text circulated later made no reference to the defence ministers' talks.