China blasted by India for ‘blatant’ violation and as first gun fire in DECADES begins

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China insisted its soldiers took “countermeasures” due to Indian soldiers opening fire in Ladakh. China’s Defence Ministry said India conducted a “severe military provocation” on Monday after Indian soldiers crossed the Line of Actual Control in the mountainous region and opened fire. But India accused Chinese forces of “blatantly violating agreements” and firing into the air to scare Indian troops.

New Delhi insisted its military were mature and responsible.

The Indian army said: “Despite the grave provocation, our own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.”

In a statement they added: “It is the People’s Liberation Army that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres.”

On Tuesday, Indian media reported that Chinese troops were carrying rods, spears and clubs.

The reported open fire from both sides would be the first shooting across the contested region for decades.

Border forces in the mountainous territory normally do not use guns in order to avoid violence escalating in the remote region.

No gun shots have been fired since 1975 when Indian troops were killed in an ambush.

Both China and India will have to hold their positions through the harsh Himalayan winter which is set to start in the next few weeks.

Tensions between the nuclear neighbours have continued to rise since a hand-to-hand clash took place in Ladakh on 15 June.

The collision resulted in 20 Indian troops being killed.

The hand-to-hand battle was the most serious military confrontation between the two neighbours in more than half a century.

China’s western military command said the attack on Monday took place along the southern shore of Pangong Tso Lake.

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India and China’s local military commands in the area had previously held rounds of talks to defuse the tensions.

A spokesman for the Western Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Zhang Shuili, said India has violated agreements reached between the two sides.

He warned India’s actions could “easily cause misunderstandings and misjudgments”.

After the clash in June, both nations had agreed to pull back their troops.

But last month, the Indian Army said the Chinese military violated the agreement.

China rejected the accusation that the PLA had breached the border in the Himalayas at the end of August.

In a statement, an Indian army spokesman Colonel Aman Anand said: “On the night of 29/30 August 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.”

He said Indian soldiers prevented China’s attempt to “unilaterally change facts on the ground”.

After the accusations, Zhao Lijian, Deputy Director of the China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department, said Chinese troops “always strictly abide by the Line of Actual Control, and never cross the line”.

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