The Indian Army on Monday said that the Chinese soldiers had “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” in eastern Ladakh but their attempts were thwarted by Indian soldiers. The incident occurred on the south bank of Pangong Tso on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.
“On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA [People’s Liberation Army] troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo,” the statement read. “Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.”
The statement said that the Army was committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but equally determined to protect its territorial integrity. A Brigade Commander level meeting is in progress at Chushul on the Indian side to resolve the matter, it added.
Last week, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar had said that the military stand-off between India and China in Ladakh was “surely the most serious situation” since the 1962 Indo-China war over Aksai Chin.
Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat had also said that the “military option” was available if talks with China failed. He said that defence personnel were always prepared “should all efforts to restore status quo along the LAC do not succeed”.
Tensions between India and China escalated after a clash between the two countries’ armies on June 15 in Ladakh led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an unidentified number of Chinese soldiers. Several rounds of talks have so far failed to break the impasse.