It has been several months since the Galwan Valley clash that took place at the Indo-China border in Ladakh, but tensions have continued to simmer. On Sunday, August 30 the MEA said that Chinese troops had once again engaged in provocative action, even as ground commanders were in discussions to de-escalate the situation. This in turn had led to retaliatory action from India.
"Actions and behaviour of Chinese side since earlier this year along LAC have been clear violation of bilateral pacts and protocols," the Ministry of External Affairs noted on Tuesday. It added that the matter had been taken up with the Chinese side.
"We have taken up the matter of recent provocative and aggressive actions with Chinese side through both diplomatic and military channels and have urged them to discipline and control their front-line troops from undertaking such provocative actions," the MEA said.
But what exactly happened in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake?
According to reports, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a skirmish at the southern bank of the Pangong lake two days ago. The Chinese had brought in close to 450 troops, but the Indian Army said that their attempt to change the status quo was thwarted.
Sources told IANS that the Chinese People's Liberation Army officials had, with the help of ropes and other climbing equipment, started ascending onto a table-top area between Black Top and Thakung Heights at Pangong Tso's south bank. Hearing the commotion, the Indian Army was alerted and swung into action.
What has China said?
China for its part has blamed India, claiming that Indian troops had "violated the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations between China and India". The statement by Spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Ji Rong termed it 'illegal trespassing" of the LAC at the at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake and near the Reqin Pass in the western sector of the China-India border.
"What India has done runs counter to the efforts made by both sides for a period of time to ease and cool down the situation on the ground, and China is resolutely opposed to this," the statement added.
Similar to India's comments, China has urged the Indian side to, amongst other things, "strictly control and restrain its front-line troops".