In a new statement released late on Monday (7 September), the Western Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army has accused Indian troops deployed south of the Pangong Lake of firing “warning shots”.
“Indian troops illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control, outrageously fired warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate,” a report in China’s hawkish state-owned propaganda outlet Global Times said.
The PLA statement called the action allegedly taken by Indiana soldiers in the area a “serious military provocation” and “very vile in nature”.
The report, citing the statement given by Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesperson of the Western Theater Command, said that Chinese “border guards” we forced to take “countermeasures to stabilize the situation”.
China said Indian troops had “illegally crossed the LAC and entered the south bank of Pangong Lake and the Shenpao mountain area”.
This development comes just days after Indian and Chinese defence ministers met in Moscow on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation event.
Days before this meeting, which reports said had been requested by China, the Indian Army, aided by men from 7 Vikas, a Special Frontier Force unit comprising highly-trained commandos from the Tibetan refugee community in India, had occupied heights south of the Pangong Lake to “preempt” the PLA.
Tensions have been high in the region since the Indian Army outmaneuvered the PLA before it could capture heights in the area.
The standoff between the two sides in Ladakh began when the PLA occupied territory along the Line of Actual Control in early May, including the contested area between Finger 4 and Finger 8 on the northern bank of the Pangong Lake.
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