New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday the latest incursion by China stemmed from "differences over alignment of Line of Actual Control (LAC)". The Ministry stressed that the issue will be resolved peacefully with neighbouring country on the "basis of agreements".
Chinese helicopters flew over Depsang in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh on April 15, the same night a platoon-strength contingent of Chinese Army came 10 km inside the Indian territory and established a tented post in the sector, sources said.
"It was a localised event in a sector where there are differing perceptions on Line of Actual Control," MEA's official spokesperson said. "We asked Chinese to maintain status quo prior to this incident. Since 1996, we have maintained the need for both sides to clarify and confirm the LAC," the MEA further said.
The Ministry further added that the two countries are currently clarifying alignment of the LAC in the disputed areas. There have been other violations by the Chinese in the past. Chinese helicopters dropped cans of food in Chumar, Ladakh. In March, Chinese helicopters violated Indian territory in Himachal Pradesh.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "It is not good to question the progress in India-China relationship because of this (incident). We are doing whatever is in the interest of the nation".
Meanwhile, Indian and Chinese military commanders held a flag meeting in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in Ladakh, according to the reports. India wants the Chinese to withdraw their troops from Depsang, where they have been present for the last one week.
Sources have told CNN-IBN, that Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) Joint Secretary heading the India China joint mechanism spoke to his Chinese counterpart over the issue. India had earlier summoned the Chinese ambassador and lodged a protest over the Chinese troop presence in Depsang.
However, China has denied that their troops crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC). A platoon-strength contingent of Chinese Army came 10 km inside the Indian territory on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there.
"This is not the first time. The government acts in a meek way in front of the Chinese government. This reflects a weak defence and foreign policy. The government is not concerned about the borders of this country," alleged BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
"Everything else will get resolved but the China issue is the most pressing. We need to resolve this," Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said. "This is a very serious matter. We will take up the issue in Parliament. Till the time China doesn't withdraws its troops, we will not sit back and keep quiet," added BJP leader Prakash Javadekar.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai had summoned the Chinese Ambassador Wei Wei to South Block and stressed the need for resolving the issue, the sources said. The Chinese side said they will look into the issue and respond accordingly.
However, when contacted the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi reiterated the comments made by their Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Beijing on Monday. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that "China's frontier troops have been abiding by the agreement between the two countries and abiding by the LAC agreed by the two countries. Our frontier troops have been patrolling on the China's side of LAC", Hua had said, adding, "Our troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the LAC and have never trespassed the line".
Chinese Embassy officials maintained that China is ready to work with the Indian side to further the coordination and cooperation on the issues of boundary. Defence Minister AK Antony had said that India will take "every step" to protect its interests to resolve the situation arising out of the incursion.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)