China dismisses Indian accusation of ‘provocative’ border action in Ladakh

Beijing said Chinese border troops “have always strictly respected Line of Actual Control and never crossed the line. Photo: File

NEW DELHI:  China  on Monday dismissed the Indian  military’s accusation that  Beijing was carrying out “provocative” movements in the disputed Ladakh region where 20 Indian troops were killed in a battle in June.

A Indian defence ministry statement said the incidents happened in eastern Ladakh on Saturday night but did not indicate whether there was a new clash.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” at the border, it said.

It added the two sides were holding military talks on Monday.

On June 15, troops from the two sides fought hand-to-hand combat in which 20 Indian troops were killed.

New Delhi and Beijing have blamed each other for the latest frontier tensions between the two sides who fought a border war in 1962 and have been involved in regular showdowns since.

The Chinese and Indian militaries have poured tens of thousands of troops into the region since the June fighting. But their military and diplomatic talks on easing tensions are in an apparent stalemate.

The Indian statement said Chinese troops “violated the consensus” to ease border tensions.

“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,” said the ministry.

“A brigade commander level flag meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues.”

Beijing did not confirm the incident, but said Chinese border troops “have always strictly respected the Line of Actual Control and never crossed the line,” referring to the unofficial border.

“Border troops from both sides have maintained communication over issues on the ground,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday at a regular press briefing.

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