Galwan incident will have serious impact on ties with China

New Delhi: In a strong message, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that the unprecedented incident in Galwan Valley will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship and asked China to take corrective steps.

Jaishankar and Wang held a telephonic conversation in the wake of Monday night’s violent clash between the two armies in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel including a Colonel were killed.

“The external affairs minister conveyed the protest of the government of India in the strongest terms on the violent face-off in Galwan Valley on June 15,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

It said Jaishankar referred to a meeting between senior military commanders of the two sides on June 6 where an agreement was reached on de-escalation and disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Jaishankar 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 LAC.

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

Jaishankar conveyed that it reflected an intent to change the facts on ground in violation of all the agreements to not change the status quo.

“The External Affairs Minister underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship. The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps,” the MEA said.

“The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the senior commanders on June 6,” it said.

“Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. They should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it,” the MEA said.

In the talks, it was agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely, the MEA said.