“China never provoked any war or conflict and never occupied an inch of other country’s territory. China border troops never crossed the line. Perhaps there are some communication issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
said on Tuesday. “I think both sides should stick to facts and have goodwill in maintaining the bilateral relations and take concrete measures to safeguard peace, tranquillity along the border.”
“With regard to the recent China-India border dispute, Wang said that China has always been committed to maintaining stability along the China-India border and will not be the first to complicate or escalate the situation,” the state-run Chinese propaganda outlet
Global Times reported. “The boundary between China and India has not yet been demarcated, so there have been problems. China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ‘we are ready to manage all kinds of issues through dialogue with the Indian side.”
Ji Rong, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in India,
claimed New Delhi had “severely infringed” on Chinese sovereignty and “destroyed the regional peace and stability” of the border region.
Global Times itself, in an editorial, demanded the PLA prepare for war.
“China needs to prepare to carry out a military struggle in the China-India border area. We should try our best to resolve frictions through peaceful means,” the editorial, published Tuesday, read. “But when India recklessly challenges China’s bottom line, China must not be soft. It must take military actions when necessary, and ensure it can win.”
The propaganda newspaper added a claim that, following multiple exchanges with India in which China has failed to securely hold Indian sovereign territory, read increasingly unlikely: “China is several times stronger than India, and India is no match for China.”
Chinese and Indian troops have coexisted on the border tensely for decades. Those tensions boiled up into military conflict in June, when Indian officials say their troops found a contingent of PLA soldiers erecting tents on sovereign Indian land in Ladakh. The Indian troops reportedly approached and confronted the Chinese soldiers, asking what they were doing there, and in response the PLA troops attacked them. As the rules of engagement for both sides prevent the use of firearms, the Chinese soldiers used sticks, rocks, and clubs wrapped in barbed wire to kill their Indian counterparts. Others reportedly died of hypothermia or fell off of cliffs. India
reported at least 23 dead, including a high-ranking officer, and over 100 injuries.
China officially reported zero casualties. Indian officials said that at least twice the number of Chinese died as the number of Indians, a claim the Chinese Foreign Ministry
denied without offering evidence or another number.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the clash by visiting the Galwan Valley and personally meeting injured soldiers as they recovered. In a speech on the border, Modi
told China, “the era of expansionism has come to an end” and warned that India’s soldiers are “better than everyone else in the world.”
Chinese dictator Xi Jinping has not addressed the Galwan Valley incident. Xi made a quick
reference to “border security” in Tibet in remarks this weekend, the first of his words to come close to approaching the subject.
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