India and China accused each other of a new sign of friction in the air along their disputed Himalayan border for the first time in more than four decades after top officials in both sides agreed to avert tensions. But warning shots were fired.
Late on Monday, Indian troops “illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control off the southern coast of Pangong Tso and fired warning shots against Chinese military patrolmen,” a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theater Command, senior Colonel Zhang Shuili said, the statement Tuesday. Zhang said, Chinese troops were forced to retaliate to stabilize the situation.
“Indian behavior has violated a serious agreement between the two parties and has increased tensions,” Zhang said, urging the Indians to withdraw. “This type of behavior can easily lead to miscarriage. This is a serious military provocation. ”
The Indian Army on Tuesday denied a similar statement that its troops had crossed the disputed border or “resorted to using any offensive means, including firing.”
“It is the PLA that is aggressively violating agreements and conducting aggressive maneuvers during engagement at the military and diplomatic and political levels,” the Indian The statement said, Adding that it was the Chinese soldiers who were trying to close the border as well as the Indian forward positions.
Chinese soldiers “fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate” when the Indian troops “refrained”, the Indian Army said in a statement.
The last time Indian and Chinese soldiers opened fire on their disputed border in the Arunachal Pradesh region of India in 1975. Military commanders on both sides had put in place protocols to ensure that troops do not open fire and skirmishes were limited to physical changes. .
India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar described the ongoing situation on the border as “very serious”. Speaking at an Indian Express event in New Delhi on Monday evening before the latest incident went public, he said: “If peace and tranquility is not provided at the border, it cannot be that the rest of the relationship continues on the same basis On. ”
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Jaishankar is expected to hold discussions with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a visit to Moscow for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting on Thursday. A spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to messages seeking comment on Tuesday.
Indian soldiers are in danger The Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper said in a comment Tuesday that if they use guns, they will be eliminated. Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the paper, said Twitter, “As far as I know, the PLA’s analysis is: The Indian side is undermining China’s will as they did before 1962 and acknowledges that China has dared not fight the war.” . “
The latest controversy came just days after Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe, agreed to ease tensions in Moscow after a “frank and in-depth discussion”.
If the news of a border firing warning is true, “Sino-India tensions are clearly increasing with the aim of de-escalation despite bilateral agreements and numerous military-to-military dialogues,” said researcher Derek Grossman in Washington . -Bed Rand Corporation. “There are rumors that Chinese President Xi Jinping is unhappy and disheartened with how events have unfolded with India, and he is looking for ancestors to twist Beijing’s fate.”
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Grossman said, “China has always seen India as a lesser power,” and the loss at the border, even if not symbolic and territorial, would be a major and unacceptable psychological blow to China’s faith and international image. ”
Pangong Tso, a snowy lake at a distance of 14,000 feet (4,300 m), is in the western reaches of the contested Kashmir region and was the scene In June, fierce fighting took place in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed.
Chinese-Indian relations have soured each other’s works along the 3,488-kilometer (2,162-mile) Line of Actual Control. Several rounds of high-level military talks failed to end months of deadlock.
– With the help of Sharon Chen, Jing Li, Archana Chaudhary and Sudhi Ranjan Sen
(The twelfth paragraph combines the comments of the Indian Army)