China said today that “artificial blocks” to bilateral cooperation would harm India’s interests and that the two countries should work together to uphold peace in their border region. Beijing will take necessary measures to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses in India, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Beijing told a news briefing.
His comments came after India banned 59 apps including TikTok citing a threat national security and as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Ladakh where, last month, 20 Indian soldiers died in a face-off with China. Beijing has not confirmed its number of casualties in the clash, which marked the first time in 45 years that soldiers had died in combat on the border.
PM Modi, who said in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat that, “those who eyed Indian territory in Ladakh have received a befitting response”, toured a military base at Nimoo in Ladakh, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the site of the June 15 battle.
He will also military hospital in nearby Leh to meet soldiers injured in the hand-to-hand skirmish.
Army Chief MM Naravane and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat accompanied the PM to the sensitive area, which has been used as a staging post to build up troop numbers in the region.
Despite several rounds of military talks and an agreement to disengage along the simmering border in Lakadh in the Western Himalayas, little progress has been made in pulling back troops.
China has warned that India’s ban on China-linked apps amounts to a violation of WTO rules.