New Delhi: India on Friday said the military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh since May was the result of actions by China through which Beijing sought to effect a “unilateral change” of the Line Actual Control (LAC). Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava made this observation when asked about remarks by the Chinese foreign ministry blaming India for the border standoff.

“Our position has been very clear and has been articulated several times in the past. The situation that we have seen since the last six months has been a result of the actions of the Chinese side which has sought to effect a unilateral change in status along the LAC in eastern Ladakh,” he said. “These actions are in violation of the bilateral agreements and protocol on ensuring peace and tranquility along the LAC in the India-China border areas,” Srivastava added.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had on Thursday blamed India for the tensions along the border. India has deployed tens of thousands of troops along its border with China in response to a Chinese military deployment which began in April

“We have taken note of the Chinese side’s statement that it observes ‘strictly the agreements between the two sides and is committed to resolving the border issue through dialogue and safeguarding peace and tranquility’ in the border areas. We expect that the Chinese side will match its words with actions,” Srivastava said.

There has been no easing of tensions along the border despite multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks. Srivastava also said the two sides have continued to maintain communication through diplomatic and military channels.

“It is our expectation that the further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector and full restoration of peace and tranquility as early as possible,” he said.

The MEA also rejected claims that the joint release of commemorative stamps to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and China was cancelled on account of no feedback from the Indian side. Asked about a tweet by the Chinese embassy suggesting that the joint release of commemorative stamps was cancelled on account of no feedback given by the Indian side before the launch time, Srivastava termed these claims as “factually incorrect”.

“It may also be noted that the launch of the 70th-anniversary celebrations itself has not taken place yet, and therefore, the issue of going ahead with joint activities under its ambit does not arise,” the MEA spokesperson added. In 2019, China had agreed to take part in a joint release of commemorative stamps marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and China.