China has rejected Indian accusations that the former’s troops crossed the border in Ladakh, saying its forces “never crossed the line of actual control.”
The Indian army had earlier claimed in a statement that Chinese troops carried out military movements over the weekend to change the status quo on a disputed border in a fresh flare-up between the two sides.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing on Monday that both sides were in communication regarding the situation on the ground.
“On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA [People’s Liberation Army] troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo,” the Indian army had claimed in a statement.
It said Indian soldiers ‘foiled’ the Chinese bid to “unilaterally change facts on the ground.”
For months, Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a face-off in the western Himalayas where both sides accuse the other of violating the Line of Actual Control, or the de facto border. In June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a clash in the Galwan valley, following which the two sides had agreed to pull back.
But despite several rounds of talks, troops remain faced off at other points, including the high altitude Pangong Tso lake, which both countries claim.
The Indian army said the latest flare-up took place along the lake.
“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” it said.
India and China have not been able to agree on their nearly 3,500 km (2,000 mile) border over which they went to war in 1962. The flare up this summer is the most serious in over half a century.
Military officials of the two countries were holding a meeting at a border point to resolve the latest crisis, the Indian army said.