New Delhi, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- India on Tuesday accused the Chinese military of fresh “provocations” a day earlier at the disputed Himalayan boundary in the eastern Ladakh sector despite diplomatic attempts by the two sides to agree on a deescalation after a series of alleged border violations.
“Yesterday on 31st August, 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,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Indian ministry of external affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.
He claimed that the Chinese attempts to “alter the status quo” at the border were thwarted by “timely defensive action” by the Indian troops.
The fresh allegations come a day after India accused China of carrying out “provocative military movements” over the past weekend on the banks of the strategically important Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh.
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 (LAC).
On Jun. 15, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and dozens more were wounded during a clash in the Galwan valley of Ladakh, marking the worst military confrontation between the two sides in 45 years. The Chinese side did not report any casualties.
The two sides later agreed to pull back from the points of confrontation after repeated meetings between high military officials of both countries.
On Tuesday, the Indian spokesperson reiterated that the two countries had “closely engaged through diplomatic and military channels over the past three months to resolve the situation along the India-China border.”
He added that the two sides had agreed they “should not take any provocative action or escalate matters.”
“The Chinese side however, violated this understanding and engaged in provocative military maneuvers. (…) The actions and behavior of the Chinese side since earlier this year along the LAC has been in clear violation of the bilateral agreements and protocols,” Srivastava alleged.
China had rejected the earlier allegations on Monday and in turn accused India of “illegally trespassing” the LAC near lake Pangong Tso and urged it to “immediately withdraw” its troops.
Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), called India’s moves a “flagrant provocation”
The two nuclear powers have a decades-old border dispute spread over a long boundary along the Himalayas, with Beijing claiming the Indian state of Arunchal Pradesh and New Delhi asserting sovereignty over the Aksai Chin region under Chinese control. EFE-EPA