India’s engagement with China “complex”: MEA’s annual report

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The MEA said both sides have agreed to resolve the issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh through peaceful dialogue

New Delhi: India’s engagement with China is “complex” and Chinese attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh starting from April-May 2020 seriously disturbed the peace and tranquility in border areas, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a report on Monday.

It said these attempts were invariably met with an “appropriate response” from Indian armed forces.

“India’s engagement with China is complex. The two sides have agreed that pending the final settlement of the boundary question, maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is an essential basis for the overall development of the bilateral relationship,” the MEA’s annual report for 2022 said.

“However, starting from April-May 2020, the Chinese side undertook several attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC in the Western sector, which seriously disturbed the peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western sector and impacted the development of the relationship,” it said.

The government refers to eastern Ladakh as the Western sector.

The MEA said both sides have agreed to resolve the issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh through peaceful dialogue and that discussions have continued with the Chinese side to achieve complete disengagement from all friction points and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas at an early date.

“However, the continued unilateral attempts by China to change the status quo have impacted the bilateral relationship since then,” it said.

“The two sides continued to make some progress in the resolution of the issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Continuing with disengagement in Pangong Tso in February 2021 and in the Gogra area in August 2021, this year, disengagement was achieved in Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) in Eastern Ladakh (September 2022),” the MEA said.

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