UK welcomes efforts by India, China to de-escalate tension in eastern Ladakh


File Photo of Sir Philip Robert Barton. (Wiki)

Sir Philip Robert Barton. (Wiki)

The UK on Thursday welcomed efforts by India and China to de-escalate tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

British High Commissioner Sir Philip Barton also expressed concern over Chinese action in Hong Kong as well as cases of human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

The UK, he said, is aware of the challenges presented by “some Chinese actions” and has been working with its close allies like the US to deal with them.

“I would like to say that the progress we have seen in managing the tensions and the commitment the two special representatives made on boundary question on July 5 to disengage and de-escalate is welcome,” the newly-appointed envoy said during an online media briefing.

He said the Chinese actions in Hong Kong as well as along the LAC are “concerning”.

The British envoy also talked about the “tragic loss of lives” of Indian soldiers along the LAC and hoped that both sides would be able to achieve de-escalation of tensions through talks.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15, triggering massive escalation of tensions between the two sides.

However, both sides agreed to de-escalate tension by withdrawing troops from friction points following a series of diplomatic and military talks

The disengagement process between Indian and Chinse militaries began on July 6 after a telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi the previous day. Doval and Wang are Special Representatives for the boundary talks.

“We do not have a border with China but we do have particular responsibility for Hong Kong. The new national security law which China imposed is a very clear and serious violation of UK-China joint declaration,” Sir Barton said.

“We have also got great concerns around human rights abuses, in particular against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang,” he said.