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US Gen’s criticism on its military build-up at Sino-India border ‘disgraceful’: China

"The China-India boundary question is a matter between the two countries. Both sides have the will and capability of resolving the question through dialogue and consultation," Zhao said

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Beijing: China on Thursday termed the critical remarks by a top US General on its infrastructure build-up at the Sino-India border as “disgraceful” and criticised the attempts of some American officials to “fan flames”, emphasising that Beijing and New Delhi have the “will and capability” to properly resolve their differences through talks.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a media briefing here while replying to a question on the comments by US Army’s Pacific Commanding General Charles A Flynn, who termed the situation in eastern Ladakh as “alarming.”

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“The China-India boundary question is a matter between the two countries. Both sides have the will and capability of resolving the question through dialogue and consultation,” Zhao said in updated comments posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

“Some US officials have pointed fingers and sought to fan the flame and drive a wedge between the two countries. This is disgraceful. We hope the US could do more things that contribute to regional peace and stability,” he said.

He reiterated that the situation at eastern Ladakh where the two sides had over two year-long military stand-off is “stable”.

“At present, the China-India border situation is stable in general. The front-line armies of the two countries have realised disengagement in most parts of the Western sector of the China-India border,” he said.

Gen Flynn, who is on a visit to India, said on Wednesday that some of the defence infrastructure that is being created by China near its border with India in Ladakh is “alarming”, calling the Chinese activity in that region as “eye-opening”.

Flagging concerns over the Chinese infra build-up, the US General also said that the “destabilising and corrosive” behaviour of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Indo-Pacific region is simply not helpful.

“I think it is worthy of us working together as a counterweight to some of those corrosive and corruptive behaviours that the Chinese do,” he told reporters.

The Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, when a violent clash between the two sides erupted in the Pangong lake area.

Last month, it emerged that China is constructing a second bridge in an area held by it around the strategically key Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh and this could help its military to quickly mobilise its troops in the region.

China has also been establishing other infrastructure such as roads and residential units in the border areas with India.

India and China have held 15 rounds of military talks so far to resolve the Ladakh standoff.

As a result of the talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

However, each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.

India, meanwhile, refused to comment on Gen Flynn’s statement, and said it was closely observing any development along the western sector of the country.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, in his weekly media briefing, said that the government of India is fully committed to take all adequate and appropriate measures to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty.  

He further said India has always maintained continuous communication with the Chinese side both through diplomatic and military channels. Moreover, there is communication on Foreign and Defence ministers level and NSA counterparts. 

There will be another round of military dialogue very soon and there is expectation that both sides will reach a mutually acceptable solution … prolonging the situation is not in the interest of either side or overall relation, he added. 

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