The tensions between Beijing and New Delhi intensifies as both the countries accuse each other of border violations and the ‘provocative military shots.’
On Tuesday, Zhang Shuili, a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command, accused Indian troops of crossing the disputed Westen border near the Pangong Tso on Monday and firing warning shots at the patrolling Chinese soldiers.
A “grave military provocation of vile character.” Said Shuili.
For decades, the unmarked western border has been a source of the rift between the South-Asian neighbors. This 2000 miles- long border even caused a war between the two nations in 1962.
Though China won that war, the border skirmishes continued for many years to come. In the 1970s, when China-India relations started improving. With both, the countries reached a protocol that refrained the soldiers on the border from firing weapons.
No shots fired on the border since 1975. But, earlier this year, the border tensions once again started escalating. After the 15-June hand-to-hand clashes that killed 20 Indian soldiers, this disputed border has become the epicenter of the conflicts between the Indian and Chinese soldiers.
Moreover, expect more deterioration between the two nations after this potential incident.
Shili reported, “The action of the Indian side has seriously violated the bilateral agreement and escalated the tension in the region. It is a serious military provocation.”
The Indian officials responded within the hours after Beijing accused them of the border violations. Furthermore, saying that it was China, not India, who breached the 1992 no-fire agreement. And “fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate” the Indian soldiers.
The Indian military said that “At no stage has the Indian army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to using of any aggressive means, including firing. It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive maneuvers,” and, “despite the grave provocation, (our) own troops exercised great restraint and behaved maturely and responsibly.”
The confrontation took place just one day after the Indian’ military altered the Chinese about the kidnapping of the five Indian civilians from a spot near the disputed border. According to Indian cabinet minister Kiren Rijiju, PLA PLA had responded to India’s message and “have confirmed that their side has found the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh.”
It is not yet clear who was the first to violate the no-fire agreement. But the Chinese officials have called for the Indian military to investigate the incident.