New Delhi: After China said it abides by the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as proposed by Premier Zhou Enlai to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a letter dated November 7, 1959, India on Tuesday said it has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC).
‘‘This position has been consistent and well known, including to the Chinese side,’’ External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a statement.
The spokesman said that both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of its alignment under their various bilateral agreements. These include 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 and 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China Boundary Question.
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.
The spokesman also said 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.
‘‘As we have previously made clear, the Indian side has always respected and abided by the LAC,’’ he said.
Mr Srivastava said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stated in the Parliament recently that it is the Chinese side which by its attempts to transgress the LAC in various parts of the Western Sector, had tried to unilaterally alter the status quo,.
He further added the Chinese side had 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 on September 10 also, the Chinese side 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,’’ Mr Srivasatva said.