EXTRACTS FROM MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MOFA) REGULAR PRESS CONFERENCE
Shenzhen TV: Indian foreign ministry and defense ministry issued statements saying that “Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.” According to the Indian side, the Chinese soldiers were backed up by military vehicles and drew close enough to engage Indian troops in verbal arguments, but there were no clashes. The Indian side mobilized and occupied the four heights on the Indian side of the LAC. I wonder if you have any response to this?
MOFA : The Indian side claims it “pre-empted” some activities. Like the Chinese saying “There are no 300 taels of silver buried here”, which means one accidentally gives away the hidden truth in an explanation, India’s statements reveal the fact that the Indian troops were the first to have illegally crossed the LAC, made provocations, changed the status quo in the border areas, and violated bilateral agreements and important consensus.
Since the beginning of this year, India has breached bilateral agreements and important consensus many times in the western sector of the China-India boundary, attempted to unilaterally change the status quo by force, undermined peace and stability in the border region and caused tensions. The responsibility lies entirely with the Indian side. China has kept maximum restraint to prevent potential escalation.
The two sides are in communication through military and diplomatic channels. We urge India to strictly discipline its border troops, stop all provocations at once, immediately withdraw all personnel who illegally trespassed across the LAC, and stop taking any actions that may escalate tensions or complicate matters. We hope India will work with China to implement bilateral agreements and important consensus reached by leaders of the two sides, and make concrete efforts to uphold peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Reuters: The Indian side said that the “Tibetan armed unit” is part and parcel of the Indian armed forces, because they have the best high-altitude combat capabilities. This unit was formed under the guidance of the CIA in the 1960s, which is part of the “strategic exchange” between the two sides. The Dalai Lama and the “Tibetan government-in-exile” support them in fighting shoulder to shoulder with India. What is China’s view on “Tibetans in exile” joining the Indian army?
Hua Chunying: I’m not aware of what you said about these “Tibetans in exile” in the Indian armed forces. You may ask the Indian side for this.
But I noted some words you mentioned, including “the 1960s”, “CIA” and “Tibetans in exile”. These words prompt us to ponder over the ins and outs of the Tibet-related issues and the role the US has played in this process. China’s position is very clear. We firmly oppose any country providing convenience in any form for the “Tibet independence” forces’ separatist activities.
I am also wondering what is the connection between so-called “Tibetans in exile” and the Indian border troops. I hope you can do some in-depth investigation. It will be great if you can share with us any further information and progress in this regard.