In its first official reaction to the scuffles between India and Chinese troops in Ladakh and Sikkim last week, India today affirmed its commitment to the objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity in India-China border areas.

Situations have occasionally arisen on account of difference in perception of the alignment of the LAC which could have been avoided if the two countries had a common perception of the LAC, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to queries on the scuffles.

He noted that the two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such situations as and when they arose, including border personnel meeting, flag meetings, and working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs as well as through diplomatic channels.

The spokesperson said both countries attach utmost importance to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in all areas of India-China border regions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their informal Summits in Wuhan (2018) and in Chennai (2019) had reaffirmed that both sides would continue to make efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas. This was essential for the overall development of bilateral relations.

He said the two leaders had also directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence-building measures agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions. ”As a result, India-China border has largely been peaceful,” the spokesperson added.

On 6 May, nearly 150 soldiers were involved in a physical clash at Naku La in Sikkim. Four Indian and seven Chinese soldiers were injured in the altercation. Another clash between the two sides took place in Ladakh, near Pangong Lake, around the same time.