K J M Varma
India on Friday warned China that trying to alter the status quo on the ground by resorting to force can have "ripples and repercussions" in the broader bilateral relationship, and demanded that Beijing stop its activities in eastern Ladakh.
Asserting that actions taken by the Chinese forces on the ground have damaged "considerable trust" in the bilateral relationship, India's ambassador to China Vikram Misri said in a hard-hitting interview to PTI that it was entirely the responsibility of the Chinese side to take a careful view of the relations and to decide in which direction the ties should move.
He also rubbished China's claim of sovereignty over Galwan Valley in Ladakh as "completely untenable", and asserted that such exaggerated claims are not going to help the situation.
Emphasising that India is "very aware and very clear about the alignment of the LAC in the Galwan Valley," he said our troops have been patrolling up to these areas without any difficulty for a very long period of time.
Misri's strong comments came in response to the recent claims by the Chinese military and the foreign ministry of sovereignty over Galwan Valley.
On the Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong's assertion on Thursday the onus is on India to deescalate tensions, Misri said, "I think we have been very clear, and very consistent in pointing out that it has been Chinese actions over an extended period of time, that are responsible for the current situation".
"In fact beginning with the time frame of April and May, I would say there were a number of Chinese actions along the LAC in the Ladakh sector in the western sector that interfered with and hindered with the normal patrolling activities of our troops in that sector. This led obviously to a few face-off situations," he said.
During an interview with PTI, Mr Sun refused to reply to questions about China's transgressions of the LAC. He was asked why China has not been allowing Indian patrols from Finger 4 to Finger 8 areas in Pangong Tso even though the areas belonged in the Indian side of LAC. He was also asked why China has resorted to massive build-up of troops in almost all areas of the 3500 km LAC. But Sun sidestepped the questions and remained mum.