In further escalation of tensions between India and China, New Delhi Monday said that its troops thwarted the "provocative military movements" in border areas of the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where the two countries are witnessing a heightened face-off since May this year.
“On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA [People's Liberation Army of China] 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,” said a statement by the Indian Defense Ministry.
However, Beijing reportedly rejected the claims, saying the Chinese military never crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a de facto border between the two heavyweights in the region.
"Chinese FM [foreign minister] on Monday said Chinese border troops have always strictly observed the Line of Actual Control and have never crossed the line. The border troops of the two countries have been in communication over territory issues,” China's state-run Global Times tabloid said on Twitter without providing further details.
New Delhi also said that a brigade commander-level flag meeting is in progress at Chushul in Ladakh to resolve the issues.
“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwarted Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” the Indian Defense Ministry said, adding: “The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity.”
New Delhi and Beijing are witnessing a heightened face-off along the LAC in the Ladakh region of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in May.
Since then a series of meetings have been conducted between the two countries, but they are not successful.
Border tensions between the two countries span over seven decades.
China claims territory in India's northeast, while New Delhi accuses Beijing of occupying its territory in the Aksai Chin plateau in the Himalayas, including part of the Ladakh region.