Indian and Chinese troops have again locked horns along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Chinese media claims the Indian side trying to grab Chinese territory and turn it into a “new disputed area as a bargaining chip in negotiations.”
Chinese state media, Global Times (GT) stated that the Pangong Lake, where the confrontation took place is under China’s control. The tabloid further alleged that New Delhi is trying to shift the attention of the people from its domestic issues including the coronavirus when the new infection cases reached the highest in the world as it touched 78,000 in a day. The economy is shattering recording its steepest contraction in the April-June quarter.
Describing the incident, Colonel Aman Anand (PRO, Indian Army) said, “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 the ground.” The editorial claimed the word “preempt” is proof that “the Indian troops that first took destructive actions, and the Indian troops initiated the standoff this time.”
After the flare-up in June where the two sides got into the worst brawl in 4 decades that lead to 20 Indian casualties and an undisclosed number of the Chinese side, the disengagement process through military commands and diplomatic channels is underway. However, this time the incident is much less severe.
The Indian Army has said that the PLA had been conducting “provocative” actions at the contested area of Pangong Tso, on the intervening night of 29-30 August. On the other hand, the PLA Western Theater Command (WTC) Spokesperson blamed the Indian Army for stirring up tensions in the region.
In a statement issued late on Monday (August 31) evening, Zhang alleged that Indian troops violated the LAC again and crossed over in the south bank of Pangong Tso and the Reqin Pass.
“The confrontation in Pangong Lake shows that India did not draw any lessons from the Galwan Valley clash. It is still determined to provoke China. Since the Doklam standoff in 2017 when the Indian Army crossed the border to provoke China, the tense situation in the China-India border area continues with the same logic.
China-India border frictions are likely to prolong, and various kinds of crises, be they big or small, will become normal. We have to be prepared for this,” the tabloid stated.
The editorial concluded by saying that the two sides should try to resolve the border issue peacefully but China “must not be soft” and will ensure military action, if necessary. Indian Chief of Defence has also echoed a similar sentiment stating that military action can be exercised if the talk between two armies and diplomatic channels fail.
“If India wants to engage in competition, China has more tools and capabilities than India. If India would like a military showdown, the PLA is bound to make the Indian army suffer much more severe losses than it did in 1962.” the editorial warned.