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India – China Blame Game On

NEW DELHI, Sep 16: There is no end to blame game between India and China. China on Wednesday reciprocated defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament on Tuesday putting the onus on China for the border skirmishes. China claimed that it had been honouring agreements signed with India and was committed to maintaining peace in border areas, directly blaming India for the border tension.

Singh had told Parliament that China had engaged in massive mobilisation of troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), engaged in aggressive behaviour, and sought to unilaterally change the status quo, in contravention of existing border agreements and pacts.

Responding to Singh’s statement, the Chinese foreign ministry again blamed New Delhi for the tensions, saying it was India which had breached agreements made to maintain tranquility along the disputed boundary.

“For the Chinese side, we have been honouring the agreements signed between China and India. We are committed to peace and stability in the border area,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said when asked to comment on Singh’s statement.

“We are committed to our sovereignty and territorial integrity. But China is not to blame for the current situation. It is the Indian side that has breached the agreements, trespassed the territory first and also first to fire shots to threaten the safety of the Chinese border troops,” Wang said at the regular ministry briefing in Beijing.

“So, what is imperative is for the Indian side to address these mistakes to follow through the disengagement agreements and take concrete actions to ease up the situation on the ground,” Wang said, repeating Beijing’s stand on the months-long border standoff that’s plunged bilateral ties to the worst level in decades.

India has already dismissed similar allegations made by China earlier, saying the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were the first to provoke and not ready to disengage.

(Manas Dasgupta)