India on Tuesday charged the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of trying to escalate the situation by attempting to wrest control of an Indian post on the Rezang La-Rechi La ridgeline on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake with troops and armoured vehicles on Monday. The Indian Army said in a statement that contrary to Chinese Western Command claims that India had crossed the Line of Actual Control and fired, it was the Chinese who had shot in the air.
The Army clarified that Indian soldiers had not crossed the LAC or had used any means of aggression including firing.
The statement was issued hours after the PLA Western Command claimed Indian troops had fired warning shots which led to the PLA taking measures to stabilise the situation. The Indian Army said it was committed to disengagement and de-escalating the LAC stand-off.
The Chinese move violating agreements comes when both sides are engaged at several levels to defuse the situation, be it on the army level, diplomatic level or at the political level, the Army said.
The Army said the PLA statement charging India of aggression is to confuse people both at home and globally. Reports said the firing of shots comes after over a 40-year timeframe in ties between the two neighbours.
Monday’s aggression by the PLA comes just a few days after the defence ministers of both countries agree to defuse tensions in a meeting in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
At the meet, China blamed the tensions along the LAC on India. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pushed for the restoration of status quo at all friction points in eastern Ladakh.
Following Army chief General MM Naravane’s recent statement that the situation was slightly tense and could be resolved through talks, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar added that the situation was indeed serious and needed deep talks at the political level.