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India-China Border Violence: Talks Between Major Generals of Both Nations 'Inconclusive', Say Sources

An Indian Army convoy moves along Srinagar-Leh national highway at Gagangeer in east Kashmir's Ganderbal district on Tuesday. (Reuters)

An Indian Army convoy moves along Srinagar-Leh national highway at Gagangeer in east Kashmir's Ganderbal district on Tuesday. (Reuters)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in a conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, said the “unprecedented” development will have a “serious impact” on the bilateral ties, holding the Chinese army responsible for the violence by taking “premeditated” action.

The continuing talks between the Major Generals of India and China in Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the site of a violent face-off between the two armies, ended “inconclusive” on Wednesday.

"The talks have remained inconclusive as no immediate disengagement or change in ground has taken place. More talks will take place in the coming days," news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.

The violent clashes on Monday night, which left at least 20 soldiers of the Indian Army dead, is the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La in 1967 when India lost around 80 soldiers while more than 300 Chinese army personnel were killed.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, said the “unprecedented” development will have a “serious impact” on the bilateral ties, holding the Chinese army responsible for the violence by taking “premeditated” action.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, which also issued a statement after the conversation between Wang and Jaishankar, said India should “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 Chinese statement also said the two sides agreed to “cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible” and maintain peace and tranquility in the border area in accordance with the agreement reached so far between the two countries.

In a strong message to Beijing over the clashes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply if instigated even as the frontline bases of the army and the air force along the nearly 3,500 km de-facto border with China have been put on high alert.

'No compromise'

In his first remarks on the Monday night clash, Modi in his opening remarks at a virtual conference with chief ministers on the coronavirus crisis said India would not "compromise with its integrity and sovereignty" and will firmly defend its self-respect and every inch of land.

Asserting that the sacrifice of the army men will not go in vain, the Prime Minister said, "India is culturally a peace-loving country. We have always worked closely with our neighbours in a cooperative and friendly manner...We never provoke anyone. Whenever the time has come, we have demonstrated our power, proving our capabilities in protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the country."

During his conversation, Jaishankar also conveyed to Wang that while there was some progress on the situation, the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control which became the source of dispute.

"While this became a source of dispute, the Chinese side took premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties," the MEA said, giving details of the conversation.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting with Chief of Defence Staff and three service chiefs following which all the frontline bases of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force along the nearly 3,500 km de-facto border were put on high alert in view of the clash, military sources said. The Indian Navy has also been asked to raise its alert-level in the Indian Ocean Region where Chinese Navy has been making regular forays.

The sources said the army has rushed in additional troops to all sensitive areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, and directed all the frontline bases to deal with any aggressive behaviour by Chinese Army with a "firm" hand.

Military sources said 18 Army personnel injured during Monday night's clashes were undergoing treatment at a hospital in Leh. Four of them were critically injured, but they are responding to treatment, they added.

Another group of 58 personnel, who sustained minor injuries, have also been kept under medical supervision, the sources said, adding they will be ready to join their units in two weeks time

In the midst of extensive political reactions to the Galwan Valley clash, the Prime Minister's Office said Modi has convened an all-party virtual meet on June 19 to discuss the situation on the India-China border.

(With inputs from PTI)


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