“Absurd”, “no basis”: India rejects latest China map that lays claim to Indian territory
Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question, MEA says
Rejecting the so-called 2023 "standard map” of China that lays claim to India’s territory, India on Tuesday (August 29, 2023) lodged a strong protest with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels.
"We have today lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so called 2023 "standard map” of China that lays claim to India’s territory,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries on the development.
“We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question," he added.
According to media reports, the map released by China’s ministry of natural resources on August 28 lays claim on parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin (which was occupied during the 1962 war).
India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, meanwhile, described China’s claim as "absurd". China had an old habit of putting out maps with territories that were not theirs, he told NDTV. "Making absurd claims does not make other people's territories yours," he said.
The release of the map comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 24, 2023.
During what was described by India as an “informal conversation” in the Leaders Lounge, Prime Minister Modi told President Xi in no uncertain terms that respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was essential for normalising India-China bilateral ties.
Briefing the media, India's Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said Prime Minister Modi had highlighted India's concerns on the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas. He added that the two leaders agreed to “direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation”.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said that normalcy in bilateral ties was not possible till there was peace and tranquillity on the borders (LAC). Responding to a question at a special media briefing on nine years of the Narendra Modi government on June 8, 2023, he maintained that China tried to coerce India in 2020 during the Galwan Valley stand-off by violating existing agreements.
In June 2020, a tense standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh had led to a violent face-off in Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian soldiers had lost their lives. A very large number of Chinese troops were also killed though China has never officially confirmed the actual number of deaths.
Multiple rounds of talks since then have led to a disengagement at several places, including in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, and Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15). Talks are continuing on ensuring disengagement at the remaining friction points.
The 19th round of India- China Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on August 13-14, 2023, with both sides describing the discussions as positive and constructive. There was, however, no announcement of any fresh disengagement along the remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector’s Eastern Ladakh region.