Beijing, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- A Chinese military spokesperson called for India to immediately withdraw its troops that “illegally trespassed” the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two countries, on the southern shore of Lake Pangong Tso and near Reqin Mountain, state owned Xinhua agency reported Tuesday.
The Indian troops undermined the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations, according to Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesperson Zhang Shuili late Monday, as he termed India’s move a “flagrant provocation.”
On Monday, the Indian army had released a statement alleging that Chinese troops carried out “provocative military movements” near a disputed Himalayan boundary in the eastern Ladakh sector, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a physical brawl in June.
The statement said that Chinese troops “violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh” in northern India.
It added that the Indian troops “pre-empted this PLA activity”, as well as “undertook measures” to reinforce positions and “thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.”
Beijing denied that Chinese troops had crossed the disputed border with India and underlined that both armies have been in communication on territorial issues.
The Chinese army spokesperson in turn claimed that it was India that had “severely violated China’s territorial sovereignty” and “harmed the peace and stability at border areas.”
Zhang stressed that China was strongly opposed to this action and urged India to restrain and control its border troops, honor its promises and avoid further escalating tensions.
He also warned that the Chinese military was taking necessary countermeasures, and would closely follow the latest developments to safeguard China’s territorial sovereignty, as well as peace and stability at border areas.
The eastern frontier of Ladakh has been the source of confrontation and a long stand-off between the two sides that began in early May, with a massive build-up of troops along the de facto border called the Line of Actual of Control.
At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and dozens more were wounded during a clash in the Galwan valley of Ladakh. The two sides later agreed to pull back from the points of confrontation.
However, several rounds of talks later, troops remain engaged in the impasse at several border points, including the high-altitude lake of Pangong Tso. Both sides claim sovereignty over the lake and its surrounding areas. EFE-EPA