China blames India for border clash, urges stability
BEIJING (AP) - China re-accused India on Wednesday of provoking a border conflict earlier this month that killed at least 20 soldiers, but urged New Delhi to "hit China halfway" for peace and stability to restore along its controversial border high in the Himalayas.
State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian gave a longer explanation for China's view of the incident, but provided little new information.
He reiterated China's claim that the June 15 confrontation in the Galwan Valley, part of the controversial Ladakh region, was on China's side of the actual control line and that the Indian forces had illegally invaded China.
"The responsibility (for the incident) is not at all on the Chinese side," said Zhao at a daily meeting.
"The ruthless actions of the Indian military have seriously violated the agreements signed between the two countries and seriously violated the basic principles of international relations. They were inherently evil and the consequences were serious, "said Zhao.
The commanders agreed on Monday to withdraw their forces at their first meeting since the confrontation.
The clash was the deadliest between the two countries in 45 years. India said 20 of its soldiers had died. China has not published any information about victims on its website.
Soldiers fought with clubs, stones, and their fists at 4,270 meters above sea level, but no shots were fired, Indian officials said. The soldiers carry firearms, but are not allowed to use them in the border dispute by prior agreement.
Indian security officials said the deaths were due to serious injuries and freezing temperatures.
The valley is in a remote section of the 3,380-kilometer line of actual control - the border established after a war between India and China in 1962 that led to an uneasy ceasefire.
Zhao said Monday and Tuesday's talks had resulted in both sides agreeing to take the necessary measures to cool the situation and promote peace and stability.
"We hope that the Indian side will strictly adhere to the above-mentioned consensus and implement it seriously, hit China halfway and restore practical peace and stability in the border region," said Zhao.
When asked why China had been defending its position for so long after the sides had already agreed to ease tensions, Zhao said this should be "a lot of fake news" related to that spread by Indian diplomats and the country's media Counteract the matter.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense issued a nearly identical statement that Chinese troops "took defense measures and acted decisively against the violent actions of the Indian side to successfully protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The recent tensions appear to be due to China's objection to the construction of a valley valley through India that connects the region to an airstrip, which may have triggered Beijing's efforts to gain control of the area along the border, which is not clear at times is defined.
In total, China occupies around 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) of territory in northeastern India, including the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh with its traditional Buddhist population. According to India, China occupies 38,000 square kilometers of its territory on the Aksai Chin Plateau in the western Himalayas, including part of the Ladakh region.
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