China India war: Beijing sends more troops to disputed LAC as tensions erupt

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China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has sent a battalion of troops to two disputed regions amid growing tensions with India. Troops have been sent to Rechin La, with another two groups of forces sent to Spangur Lake Indian news site DNA has claimed. The movements are said to have taken place on September 1.

Tensions in the area rose in June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with Chinese forces.

It is unknown how many casualties on the Chinese side resulted from the incident.

This week, China accused Indian forces of firing warning shots across the border.

A statement issued by China claimed its troops had been “forced to take an emergency response to stabilise the situation,” though details of the response were not given.

Spokesman Zhang Shuili accused India’s troops of “a serious military provocation”.

India denied this had happened, and went on to claim Chinese forces had fired shots into the air in a stand-off in the Ladakh area.

India said, according to Asian News International: “At no stage has the Indian army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing.”

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“Despite grave provocation, our own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.

“We are committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity, however are also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs.”

The claims of shots being fired are significant because it would mark the first time in 45 years a shot had been fired in the region.

It would also be a violation of an agreement signed by China and India in 1996 which prohibits firing weapons within 2km, or 1.2 miles, of the LAC.

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In addition, The Times of India reports troops from both nations have been stationing themselves on either side of the LAC just hundreds of metres apart in some areas.

An official in India’s capital New Delhi told the news outlet troops near the Rezang La mountain pass were just 200 metres away from one another.

Another said both forces were “on their own sides of the LAC,” but described the situation as “tense”.

On Tuesday, India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, said on Twitter China’s PLA “have confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by their side.

“Further modalities to handover the persons to our authority is being worked out.”

The Line of Actual Control is a disputed border between India and China that is described as poorly-defined.

It crosses natural formations such as lakes, rivers and snowy peaks with regions of high altitude.

Officials from both sides have previously agreed to de-escalate tensions around the area.

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