Extracts from the Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of National Defense on April 29, 2021*
Question: From April 5 to 7, the US, Japan, India, Australia and France conducted the joint naval exercise “La Pérouse” in the Bay of Bengal. Some foreign media commented that the exercise was most probably targeted at China. But some thought otherwise. What’s your comment?
Answer: We have noticed the exercise. We hope the relevant countries will do more to promote peace and stability, instead of forming cliques, showing off force and intensifying regional militarization.
We are not so concerned about the media comments you mentioned. If it is not targeted at China, we welcome; if it is targeted at China, we are not afraid.
Question: According to Indian media reports, the Indian Chief of Defense Staff stated at the 6th Raisina Dialogue that China has tried to change the status quo in eastern “Ladakh” region, and that India will stand firm on the northern borders and will not succumb to China’s coercive actions. What’s your comment on this?
Answer: We have noted relevant reports. The remarks by the Indian side are completely inconsistent with the facts. Regarding the situation in the western section of the China-India boundary, China has explained the facts in detail, and the blame should not be placed on China.
Recently, thanks to the joint efforts of China and India, the border defense troops of both sides have disengaged from contact in the Galawan Valley and Lake Pangong, and the situation in the border area has eased on the whole. Earlier this month, China and India held the 11th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting, exchanging views on issues of mutual concern and agreeing to continue to maintain close communication through diplomatic and military channels. China’s position on the China-India border issue is consistent and clear. We hope that the Indian side will cherish the hard-won outcome, abide by the agreements of the two countries and two militaries and the consensus reached in previous talks, and work with China to safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area, so as to bring the relations between the two countries and the two militaries back to the track of healthy and stable development.
* (The following English text of extracts from the press conference is for reference. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.)