India’s ongoing confrontation with China over a border dispute in Eastern Ladakh has escalated this week with allegations and counter-allegations by both sides.
The simmering confrontation has been brewing for months now and at some places, Indian and Chinese troops are less than 1km apart and both sides are reinforcing their positions with infantry, armour and airpower buildups.
Zhang Shuili, spokesperson for the Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), claimed in a statement on September 8, that the Indian army had crossed the LAC in Shenpao Mountain area near the southern bank of Pangong Tso (Lake) on Monday, September 7. Zhang called the Indian action, a “severe military provocation,” which seriously violated agreements reached by China and India, and would easily cause misunderstandings and misjudgments.
Chinese claims of Indian aggression have been denied outright in a statement by the Indian Ministry of Defence this morning, which stated, “At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing.
“In the instant case on 07 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.”
The MOD statement further states that while India remained committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation on the LAC, while China continued to undertake provocative activities to escalate the situation.
India has accused the PLA of blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, despite ongoing engagements at military, diplomatic and political level aimed at resolving the situation.
Image caption: Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane during a visit to Leh to review security situation and operational preparedness along the LAC in EasternLadakh
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