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Ladakh standoff: India thwarted China's 'provocative action' at Pangong Tso lake, says MEA

"On August 31, even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation, the Chinese troops again engaged in provocative action," says Indian External Affairs ministry

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | September 1, 2020 | Updated 22:40 IST
Ladakh standoff: India thwarted China's 'provocative action' at Pangong Tso lake, says MEA
Chinese troops carried out fresh "provocative action" in Pangong Tso Lake areas in Eastern Ladakh on Monday

Amidst the ongoing border tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India on Tuesday said Chinese troops made fresh attempt to change the status quo in the south bank area of Pangong lake in Eastern Ladakh, which is in "complete disregard" to the understandings reached between the two Asian countries. The Chinese side carried out "provocative action" on Monday, even when the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation, Indian External Affairs ministry said.

"On August 31, even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation, the Chinese troops again engaged in provocative action. Due to the timely defensive action, the Indian side was able to prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.

As per sources, the Chinese forces made fresh bid to close in on Kaala Top and Helmet Top on Monday. However, Indian Army thwarted Chinese troops' attempt to transgress into area by shouting to them using megaphones to tell them that they had been spotted. This incident happened when Brigade Commander level flag meeting was in progress at Chushul area in Ladakh to resolve the issues.

Also Read: India-China border row: Ready to manage all issues through talks, says Chinese Foreign Minister

Srivastava said the Chinese side carried out "provocative military maneuvers" in the late night of August 29 and on August 30 to change the status quo on previous consensus arrived during military and diplomatic engagements over the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh. However, Indian soldiers foiled the attempt by Chinese troops, which is also the first major incident in the area after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed and reportedly over 40 Chinese had also died.

As per report, about 200 Chinese soldiers came in a SUV vehicular convoy at around 11 pm on August 29. They ran into an Indian post, which was challenged by Indian forces deployed in the area. The Indian Army had prior intel about the deployment and was prepared to handle any situation in that area. No injuries or casualties were reported.

Also Read: India-China border tension: Both sides position tanks within firing distance at Pangong Tso

"As stated yesterday by Indian Army, the Indian side responded to these provocative actions and took appropriate defensive measures along the LAC in order to safeguard our interests and defend the territorial integrity," he said in response to a media query on the recent developments in the India-China border areas.

Lodging a strong protest with the Chinese side, MEA spokesperson said, "We have taken up the matter of recent provocative and aggressive actions with Chinese side through both diplomatic and military channels, and have urged them to discipline and control their frontline troops from undertaking such provocative actions."

Also Read: Ladakh border clash: China can make India suffer more 'severe' military losses, says Global Times

Earlier in the day, China accused India of being the "violator" and "provocateur" in the recent border incident. Refuting India's allegation of changing the status quo at the Pangong Tso area, China has said that its border troops "never cross the Line of Actual Control (LAC)".

As per the Chinese government's newspaper Global Times, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the boundary between China and India has not yet been demarcated, so there have been problems. He said that "China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity...we are ready to manage all kinds of issues through dialogue with the Indian side".

By Chitranjan Kumar

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