China blames India for Pangong Lake scuffle, stone-pelting

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21 August 2017

China today blamed India for an altercation along their border in the western Himalayas involving soldiers from both the Asian giants.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that last Tuesday, Chinese border forces were carrying out "normal" patrols on the Chinese side of the actual line of control in the Pangong Lake area of Ladakh.

"During this time they were obstructed by Indian border forces and the Indian side took fierce actions, colliding with the Chinese personnel and having contact with their bodies, injuring the Chinese border personnel," Hua told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

What India did went against the two countries' consensus to keep the peace on the border and it endangered the situation there, she said.

"China is extremely dissatisfied with this" and had lodged solemn representations, Hua said.

Last week Indian soldiers reportedly foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near Pangong Lake. Some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and troops on both sides suffered minor injuries in the melee.

India's foreign ministry has confirmed the incident in Ladakh took place but has not given any details.

Indian media have shown footage taken on a mobile phone purportedly of the scuffle, originally posted by a retired army officer, with stone throwing and shoving by soldiers of both countries.

The two countries' troops have been embroiled in a separate three-month-long standoff on the Doklam plateau in another part of the remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.

The heighten tension on both ends of the border comes ahead of a summit of the BRICS group of nations in the Chinese city of Xiamen in early September, with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa due to attend.

China has repeatedly asked India to unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area or face the prospect of an escalation. Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than its crushing defeat in a brief border war in 1962.





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