The Chinese have presented their version of events, blaming India for the violence in Ladakh and accusing the US of interference.
China-India Review, a monthly journal of the Chinese embassy in India has carried two critical articles in its latest issue. These concern the diplomatic dialogue between foreign ministers and special representatives of both states to ensure disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
This issue of the China-India Review also had a signed note by Ambassador Sun Weidong who wrote a brief summation of the events that transpired in June. More importantly, the note highlights China’s position on the Ladakh standoff along with how India’s economic sanctions on Chinese companies have affected Beijing.
While Ambassador Weidong’s note presses on the need for peace, his words are a giveaway indicating that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will not be budging from finger areas in Pangong Tso anytime soon. “We should take a long-range view and not allow our differences to become disputes. China and India need to find a fair and reasonable solution to the boundary question which is mutually acceptable,” Sun Weidong wrote.
China claims it requested probe into Galwan Valley violence
Despite India’s repeated stance that the June 15 Galwan Valley incident was the result of Chinese aggression, China continues to blame Indian forces for the violence.
In fact, an article in the China-India Review titled ‘Wang, Jaishankar agree on peace & stability at LAC’ says China requested for a “probe” into the Galwan Valley incident during EAM Dr S Jaishankar’s virtual meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
“Need for Galwan Probe: Wang Yi noted that on the evening of June 15 the Indian frontline border forces openly broke the consensus reached at the commander- level meeting between the two sides The adventurism of the Indian Army seriously violated agreements on border issues between the two countries and severely violated basic norms governing international relations. China once again lodged its strong protest to the Indian side,” the article went on to claim.
Urging that “violators” should be held accountable, the article added, “We urge the Indian side to conduct a thorough investigation, hold the violators accountable, strictly discipline the frontline troops and immediately stop all provocative acts to ensure such incidents will not occur again. The Indian side must not misjudge the current situation and must not underestimate China’s firm determination to safeguard our territorial sovereignty.”
China accuses India of breaking protocol
This is not the first time China has sought a probe into the incident. On June 17, two days after the incident, the Chinese foreign ministry had said that the same demand was made by Wang Yi when he spoke with Jaishankar to de-escalate tensions.
Accusing India of breaking protocol, the article says, “The two sides agreed to fairly address the serious situation caused by the conflict in the Galwan valley, jointly observe the consensus reached at the commander-level meeting between the two sides.”
Wan Yi-Ajit Doval dialogue
Another article, ‘Wang-Doval talks set the stage for restoring border peace’ puts the onus on India, to straighten matters. It says, “We hope India can work with China to guide public opinion in the right direction, keep and advance bilateral exchanges and cooperation, and avoid amplifying the differences and complicating matters so as to jointly uphold the big picture of China-India relations.”
Also, in a brazen rejection of the truth, the article reiterates the point made on various occasions earlier by the ambassador and the foreign ministry that the “right” and “wrong” of Galwan is known to all, shifting the blame on India.
“Our bilateral relations have withstood tests and made hard-won progress. The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan valley in the western sector of the China-India boundary is very clear. China will continue firmly safeguarding our territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquility in the border areas,” the article says in the form of a veiled threat.
Ladakh standoff not ending anytime soon
While the two are unsigned articles of detailing China’s version of what happened through June, Chinese envoy signing the article on the first page of the magazine is testimony to what Indian government sources have been telling India Today – the situation in Ladakh is likely to enter the long haul.
However, Ambassador Sun Weidong did try to strike a reconciliatory asking India to reconsider its decisions on the economic front. He went on to claim that any adverse decision will impact India as well.
Chinese accuse US of interference
Accusing the United States of interference, Ambassador Weidong wrote, “Some people have been trumpeting the so-called “decoupling” of China-India economic and trade relations which is erroneous thinking.”
“The business community and people of India are the beneficiaries of China-India economic and trade cooperation. Any self-protection, non- tariff barriers and restrictive measures against China are unfair to everyone concerned,” the ambassador added.
A third article in the China-India Review titled ‘RIC Needs to Enhance Synergy to Protect Common Interests: Wang’ presents China’s stance on the Russia-India-China virtual trilateral meet held on June 23.
Using the pretext of the forum to counter the US, the article says, “Mr Wang stressed that as major countries adhering to strategic independence, China, Russia, and India should maintain the overall momentum of cooperation as partners and seize opportunities they can offer to each other.”
“Committed to the shared interests in advancing domestic development and upholding world peace and prosperity, the three countries should approach the sensitive issues in their bilateral relations in the right way in order to maintain sound relations on the whole,” the article goes on to add.
On the issue of safeguarding “multilateralism”, the article says, “The three countries (Russia-India-China) should adhere to multilateralism and work to improve global governance. It is necessary to resolutely safeguard the outcomes of the victory of World War II and advocate greater democracy and rule of law in international relations.”