Beijing, Jun 18 (PTI) China and India are working through diplomatic and military channels to de-escalate the tensions as soon as possible and find a solution in a 'just manner' following Monday's violent face-off between their armies in the Galwan Valley, a top Chinese official said on Thursday.
At least 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night. China's official media has acknowledged casualties on the Chinese side without mentioning numbers.
'The two sides are working to resolve the issue on the ground through military and diplomatic channels,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here answering questions on the tense standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley.
China and India have agreed to deal with the 'serious matter' caused by the conflict at the Galwan Valley in a 'just manner' and both sides are in communication and coordination through diplomatic and military channels to de-escalate the tensions as soon as possible, he said.
'Both sides agreed to deal with the serious matter caused by the conflict at the Valley in a just manner, jointly observe the commander level talks consensus and deescalate the tensions as soon as possible and safeguard the peace and tranquillity,' he said.
'Currently, the overall situation is stable and controllable. We believe under the guidance of the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, the two sides can deal with the relevant matter jointly safeguard peace and stability at the border areas and work for sound development of bilateral relations,' Zhao said.
Referring to the telephone talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Zhao said the “two sides have agreed to handle in a just manner the serious situation caused by the Galwan Valley clash, observe the agreement reached during the Commander-level meeting, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and tranquillity of the border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements reached so far”.
He said, 'besides stating China’s position, State Councillor Wang also stressed both emerging powers with a population of over one billion, bear the historic mission of accelerating national development and rejuvenation.
'Hence, acts of mutual respect and mutual support represent the right track and also conform to the long-term interests of both countries, whereas those of mutual distrust and friction belong to an evil path and go against the fundamental aspirations of the two peoples.' He said China and India should follow the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and leverage such existing channels as meetings between the two countries’ special representatives on the boundary issue and meetings between border troops of both sides to strengthen communication and coordination on properly addressing the border situation, and jointly maintain the peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
A large number of Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in Galwan Valley and certain other areas of eastern Ladakh for the last five weeks, including in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh.
Monday's face-off was the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers while over 300 Chinese army personnel were killed in the face-off.
The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it. PTI KJV ZH AKJ ZH