Armed forces responded appropriately to China's attempts to change status quo along LAC: Govt

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The Chinese military made several attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since April-May last year and Indian armed forces 'responded' to them 'appropriately', the government said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the government will continue discussions with the Chinese side to achieve the objective of disengagement from all friction points and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas at an early date.

Indian and Chinese militaries are locked in a bitter standoff in eastern Ladakh for over nine months.

'Since April/May 2020 the Chinese side had made several attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC in Western Sector. These attempts have been responded to appropriately by our armed forces,' Muraleedharan said in a written reply to a question.

'It has been made clear to the Chinese side that such unilateral attempts are unacceptable. These actions have seriously disturbed the peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the Western sector,' he said.

The government often refers to eastern Ladakh as western sector.

Muraleedharan said diplomatic and military engagements with the Chinese side have continued in order to ensure complete disengagement from all friction points and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

He said six meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) and nine meetings of the senior commanders have been held so far.

Muraleedharan also referred to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on September 10 in Moscow.

'The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,' he said.

Muraleedharan said the two foreign ministers also agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.

To a separate question, he said India received assistance from a few countries including Japan, the US, France, Germany and Israel in the form of medical equipment and grants-in-aid following the coronavirus pandemic. PTI MPB ZMN