'Chinese military bolsters troops in Aksai Chin region in Sino-India border'

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Chinese troops have bolstered their border control measures in the Galwan Valley in the Aksai Chin region of the Sino-India border, official media here reported on Monday.

The Chinese action followed “India’s recent construction of defence facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region,” a write-up in the state-run Global Times tabloid said, quoting unnamed military sources.

“Since early May, India has been crossing the boundary line in the Galwan Valley region and entering Chinese territory. The Indian side built defence fortifications and obstacles to disrupt Chinese border defence troops’ normal patrol activities,” the report claimed.

There was no immediate reaction from either the Ministry of External Affairs or the Indian military.

A military official in New Delhi on condition of anonymity said such incidents happen along the un-demarcated Sino-India border due to the varying perceptions of the frontier by the two sides.

On May 5, around 250 Indian and Chinese army personnel clashed in Pangong Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh. Four days later, there was a similar face-off near Naku La Pass in North Sikkim.

Reacting to the two border incidents, India last week said it remained committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border with China noting that such incidents could have been avoided if there was a common perception about the frontier.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on May 14 that India and China attach utmost importance to ensuring peace and tranquillity in all areas of Sino-India border regions and referred to affirmation about it by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their two informal summits.

“Occasionally, however, on account of difference in perception of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the Line of Control (LAC),” he said.

The LAC is the de-facto border between the two nations.

He further said, “The Indian side remains committed to the objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.”

When asked about the latest incidents, Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane said the Indian troops were maintaining their “posture” along the border with China while infrastructure development in the areas was also on track.

“There were two incidents at Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim where aggressive behaviour by both sides resulted in minor injuries to troops post which both sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” he said last week.

The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in the Doklam tri-junction in 2017. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. PTI