Never accepted unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control: India rejects China’s claims

India on Tuesday rejected China’s claims on the location of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, stating it has never accepted the unilateral defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Ministry of External Affairs said that India has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 LAC. This position has been consistent and well known, including to the Chinese side.

“Furthermore, under their various bilateral agreements including the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC, 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field, 2005 Protocol on Implementation of CBMs, 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

“In fact, the two sides had engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC up to 2003, but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it,” he said.

“Therefore, the insistence now of the Chinese side that there is only one LAC is contrary to the solemn commitments made by China in these agreements,” the Ministry said.

India has always respected and abided by the LAC, the Ministry said, adding that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stated in Parliament recently, “It is the Chinese side, which by its attempts to transgress the LAC in various parts of the Western Sector, has tried to unilaterally alter the status quo.”

In the last few months, the Chinese side has repeatedly affirmed that the current situation in the border areas should be resolved in accordance with the agreements signed between the two countries. In the agreement reached  between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on September 10, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements.

“We therefore expect that the Chinese side will sincerely and faithfully abide by all agreements and understandings in their entirety and refrain from advancing an untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC,” the Ministry added.