SRINAGAR, India, Aug 31: India said Monday its soldiers thwarted China’s “provocative” military movements near a disputed border in Ladakh region amid a monthslong standoff.
A statement by India’s defense ministry said China’s Peoples Liberation Army “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” and “violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements” to settle the standoff in the cold-desert region.
It said Indian troops preempted the Chinese military activity on the southern bank of Pangong Lake.
The statement said Indian troops “undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.”
China did not immediately comment.
The India-China faceoff began in early May, first at three places, including the glacial lake divided by the de facto frontier between the rivals. Soldiers at the 134 kilometers (84 miles) long scenic lake ignored repeated verbal warnings, triggering a yelling match, stone-throwing and even fistfights. By June it escalated and spread to two other places toward the north in Depsang and Galwan Valley where India has built an all-weather military road along the disputed frontier.
On June 15, the situation turned deadly when the rival troops engaged in a nighttime medieval clash in Galwan.
According to Indian officials, Chinese troops atop a ridge at the mouth of the narrow valley threw stones, punched and pushed Indian soldiers down a ridge at around 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) leaving 20 Indians dead, including a colonel.