Shots were fired this week in a stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Ladakh region, where at least 20 soldiers were killed in a skirmish in June this year.
Recriminations abounded as each country accused the other of responsibility for the latest round of clashes. China’s Global Times claimed: ‘Indian troops again illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control into the Shenpao mountain region near the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake on Monday. They then outrageously fired warning shots at Chinese border patrol troops who came to negotiate, and Chinese border patrol troops were forced to take measures to stabilise the area.’
The Indian military, by contrast, claimed that it was the Chinese who had provoked the incident: ‘It was the (Chinese) troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and, when dissuaded by our own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate our troops. However, despite the grave provocation, our troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.’
India claimed to have reinforced its position with armour after the clash.
Relations between the two nuclear-armed powers have deteriorated sharply in recent months. China is giving the appearance of wishing to expand its influence – not least its military reach in Asia and the Pacific – while India has looked to deepen cooperation with regional powers in an apparent drive to counter China.