Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday claimed that his country has “not provoked a conflict or war, or occupied a single inch of foreign land”.
Xi’s remarks came at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, hours after his highly anticipated talks with US President Joe Biden, where both leaders pledged to reduce tensions as they met for the first time in a year.
Xi’s comments at the event organised by the US-China Business Council and National Committee on US-China Relations were being closely watched, given worries about China’s tighter business oversight and bilateral tensions.
Xi further claimed, “Throughout the 70 years and more since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has not provoked a conflict or war, or occupied a single inch of foreign land.”
During the meeting, Biden raised concerns over China’s human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.
“President Biden underscored the universality of human rights and the responsibility of all nations to respect their international human rights commitments. He raised concerns regarding PRC human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong,” according to the White House readout.
Notably, in 2020, the Indian and Chinese troops clashed at Galwan, the same year the pandemic started.
Since May 2020, when the Chinese troops tried to aggressively change the status quo on LAC in eastern Ladakh, both sides have been deployed in forward positions near Patrolling Point 15, which emerged as a friction point in the wake of the Galwan clash.
Over 50,000 Indian soldiers have been stationed since 2020 at forward posts along the LAC, with advanced weapons to prevent any attempts to change the status quo unilaterally on the LAC.
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