China on Monday said that it is in close communication through diplomatic and military channels with India and that its troops have been “strictly observing the Line of Actual Control (LAC)” and “never crossed the line.”
The Indian Army in a statement on Monday had said it thwarted an attempt by Chinese armed forces to transgress into Indian areas near the southern banks of the Pangong Tso near Chushul in Ladakh on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
Responding to a question on the statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in his press briefing that: “The Chinese border troops have been strictly observing the Line of Actual Control and never crossed the line. The Chinese and Indian border troops are in contact with each other regarding the issue on the ground.”
Asked about any ongoing meetings to resolve this new development, Zhao said: “China and India are in close communication through diplomatic and military channels. As for the specific meetings and talks, information will be released in due course once we have an update.”
Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand in a statement on Monday said: “On the night of August 29/30, PLA 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 Indian Army took measures to strengthen its position “and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on the ground”.
It said that A Brigade Commander level flag meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues on the ground.
Army sources said the Chinese Army had tried to transgress into Indian areas using a sizeable number of troops but the Indian Army came to know about their intentions and preempted the Chinese attempt and foiled their move.
India and China are engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Kongrung Nala. The talks between the two sides have been going on for the last three months including five Lieutenant general-level talks but have failed to yield any results, so far.
The Chinese Army has refused to withdraw or disengage completely from the Finger area and seems to be buying time to delay its disengagement from there.
While efforts are underway to resolve the ongoing border dispute, India has rejected the Chinese suggestion to disengage equidistantly from the Finger area in Eastern Ladakh.