China has once again resorted to stonewalling Indian concerns about a fresh People's Liberation Army incursion into the Indian side of the de facto border in the high Himalayan reaches above Ladakh.
Virtually defending the latest incursion by its armed forces in the Chumar sector in Ladakh – where they took down some Indian observation posts in June after an earlier three-week armed standoff in late April – China today said its troops were patrolling on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC); and asserted that the "status quo" should not be changed pending a final settlement of the issue.
"I have seen the relevant reports but I am not aware of the specific situation,'' Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a media briefing in Beijing when asked about the incidents.
"The general situation in the border areas is stable. We have a consensus that pending final settlement of the boundary question no one of us from India or China should change the status quo along the LAC," she said.
"China would like to make joint efforts with the Indian side to safeguard peace and tranquillity of the border areas," Hua said.
The last incident took place on 17 June when PLA troops intruded on the Indian side of the LAC in the Chumar sector of Ladakh, smashed some bunkers and cut camera wires.
The camera which was removed was reportedly returned on 3 July, a day ahead of Indian defence minister A K Antony's visit to Beijing - the first by an Indian Defence Minister since 2006.
Antony held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Chinese foreign minister General Cheng Wanquan and special representative for the India-China border negotiations Yang Jiechi on 5 and 6 July.
China had recently expressed ire over statements by Indian armed forces leaders and senior government ministers in the recent past that China is today a more dangerous territorial threat than Pakistan. But observers agree that China's ambitions for Asian hegemony have changed little over the years.