India on Thursday rejected China’s claims that Indian soldiers had crossed the Line of Actual Control and entered Chinese territory, reported PTI. India’s foreign ministry, in turn, blamed China for activities that came in the way of the country’s patrolling.
“Any suggestion that Indian troops had undertaken activity across the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate,” said India’s External Affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. “Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in the India-China border areas and abide by it scrupulously. All Indian activities are entirely on the Indian side of the LAC.”
India has asserted that it is committed to maintaining peace along the border, adding that the nation will take every measure to protect its sovereignty and security, according to Hindustan Times.
The Indian foreign ministry’s remarks came after tension along the LAC, mainly in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh where both sides have reportedly deployed additional personnel. Earlier this month, there were reports of China pitching tents near river Galwan, which was also a flash point between New Delhi and Beijing during the 1962 war.
Soldiers from the two sides were also involved in a face-off on May 9 at Naku La in North Sikkim, resulting in minor injuries to several soldiers on both sides. On May 5, the Indian Army had alleged that Chinese soldiers became aggressive along the Ladakh border, following which there was a physical brawl between the two sides. The scuffle took place on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. China treats Aksai Chin in Ladakh as a disputed area.
In 2017, Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a 74-day standoff in Doklam on the Sikkim border. The Chinese Army accused the Indian military of stopping the construction of a road in what it claims is China’s “sovereign territory” in the Sikkim sector. China then stopped the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday said that the tension along the LAC between India and China in Ladakh and Sikkim was a reminder of the fact that Chinese aggression can be real, not merely rhetorical. The US has been very critical of China during the coronavirus pandemic.