Chinese troops with weapons at the LAC in eastern Ladakh poses a “very critical” security challenge to India: S Jaishankar

Presence of a large number of Chinese troops with weapons at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh poses a “very critical” security challenge to India, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Asia Society, the EAM further said that violent clashes at the de facto border in the Ladakh sector in June had a very deep public and political impact and left the relationship between India and China profoundly disturbed.

“There are today a very large number of troops(of PLA) with weapons concentrated on that segment of the border and that is obviously a very critical security challenge that we face,” said Jaishankar.

Tensions between the two neighbours escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also suffered an unspecified number of casualties.

India has built a relationship with China over the course of the last 30 years and a basis for building that relationship has been peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control, said the EAM and accused China of breaking agreements by moving its troop along the LAC.

There are multiple agreements, starting from 1993, which created the framework for that peace and tranquillity, said the EAM adding that these agreements limited the military forces that came to the border areas, provided clarity on how to manage the border and how border troops behave when they approach each other.

What we saw this year was a departure from this entire series of agreements. The massing of a large number of Chinese forces on the border was clearly contrary to all of this, he added.

When asked a question on what did the Chinese actually do on the border and why they did it, Jaishankar said he has got no reasonable explanation.