Indian, Chinese Troops Face-off in Ladakh Month Ahead of Modi-Xi Summit, Army Says Tension De-escalated
Tensions between the Indian and Chinese border troops flared up once again on Wednesday as soldiers of the two sides engaged in a prolonged confrontation in eastern Ladakh. The face-off began on the northern bank of the 134-km-long Pangong Tso, two-thirds of which is controlled by China as it extends into Tibet.
According to sources, patrolling Indian troops were confronted by People’s Liberation Army soldiers, who objected to their presence. This then led to a scuffle between the two sides. As the Indian troops held their ground, additional personnel were deployed. Following this, both sides returned to their bases.
The matter, however, was de-escalated later and “disengaged fully after delegation-level talks”, an Army source said. India has lodged a complaint and asked for a Border Personnel Meeting to resolve the issue.
The scuffle comes a month ahead of the crucial meetings between PM Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. This is not the first time that such an incident has transpired. Last year, ahead of Modi-Xi Wuhan summit in April, Chinese troops is said to have breached the Line of Actual Control (LoA) 28 times.
Relations between the two countries remain tense following China’s opposition to the abrogation of Article 370.
A day after the Modi government moved to declare the state a Union Territory, taking away its special status, the Chinese Foreign Ministry put out a statement in strong opposition. Since then, China has been backing Pakistan in its criticism to the move and has highlighted that “the parties concerned should exercise restraint and act with caution, especially to avoid actions that unilaterally change the status quo and exacerbate the tension”.