China said Friday the disengagement of troops in parts of the Ladakh area is a “positive development but Beijing would not accept the status quo “created by India’s illegal crossing of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)” in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
The comments by China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning were made tduring a news conference in Beijing one day after militaries from the two sides decided to disengage from the border area. India calls the area in the high-altitude Himalayan region Gogra-Hotsprings. It is known as Jianan Daban by China.
“China has consistently carried out normal activities in the border area in accordance with the relevant agreements signed between China and India. We have been asking the Indian side to also follow relevant agreements,” said Mao.
India and China have been locked in a faceoff along the LAC — a de facto border between China and India — in the Ladakh region since May 2020.
According to a consensus at the 16th round of India-China commander-level meeting in July, Indian and Chinese troops in the area began to disengage Sept. 8 in a coordinated and planned manner, according to a statement Thursday by the two sides.
Mao addressed at least four questions about the dispute during her briefing, according to a transcript shared by the ministry.
When pressed whether China has “accepted that illegal trespassing by India” given the latest disengagement, Mao replied: “The fact that China and India agreed to begin disengagement in the area of Jianan Daban is a positive development that is conducive to peace and tranquility along the border.”
Mao assured Beijing’s commitment to “properly handling relevant issues through communication and dialogue,” but asserted: “We don’t accept the so-called status quo created by India’s illegal crossing of the LAC, but that doesn’t mean we don’t attach importance to peace and tranquility along the border. The two sides have all along maintained communication over this through diplomatic and military channels.”
At least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a clash on the border in June 2020.
Tensions eased after several rounds of talks between the sides.