China on Thursday hardened its stand on the recent stand-off between its soldiers and the Indian army in Ladakh, alleging that the Indian army personnel had taken “unilateral action” triggering the incident.
It added that such action by the Indian military was against the agreements between the two governments on maintaining peace and stability along the disputed border.
The incident occurred earlier this month when Indian soldiers removed a hut with surveillance cameras built by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) because, according to their perception, it was on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
But China clearly did not agree with that perception.
“The recent actions by the Indian army in the relevant area were not consistent with the relevant agreement and spirit of the consensus of the two sides,” China’s defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said responding to a question from the Press Trust of India.
“Jointly maintaining peace and tranquility of the India-China border is an important consensus reached between the leaderships of the two countries and also a solemn commitment and promise made by the two governments and militaries,” Wu, newly appointed as PLA spokesperson said.
Asked whether any meetings have been held between the two militaries to discuss the incident, he said, “The China India-Border areas generally maintain peace and stability. The two sides are in contact and communication through diplomatic channels and border mechanisms.”
“We ask the Indian army to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two governments and refrain from taking any unilateral actions which will affect the situation in the border areas and work together with the Chinese military to jointly maintain peace and stability in China-India border areas,” he said.
The tone was certainly harder but Wu’s blaming India for the incident continued what the foreign ministry had earlier said.
“As far as I know there is no such face-off, in the border are. The Chinese border troops have been performing their duties on the Chinese side of the LAC,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei had said.
Some Chinese academics have even said privately that the Indian army brought down the watch tower as a response to the mighty military parade that China held earlier this month – to show that the Indian military was confident and equipped to tackle the challenge from across the border.