China has claimed that Indian soldiers fired warning shots after crossing the Line of Actual Control in the south bank of Pangong Lake in Ladakh on Monday, days after a series of provocative actions at the LAC by the Chinese army. "The Chinese border guards were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation," a spokesperson of the People's Liberation Army has said. It is unclear what these counter-measures were. There has been no response yet from the Indian side.
A spokesperson of the People's Liberation Army said the Indian army "illegally crossed the LAC and entered the south bank of Pangong Lake and the Shenpao mountain area".
"During the operation, the Indian Army blatantly fired threats to the patrol personnel of the Chinese border guards who had made representations, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take countermeasures to stabilize the situation on the ground," the statement read.
Calling it a "serious provocation of a very bad nature", China said, "We request the Indian side to immediately stop dangerous actions".
Twice over the last two weeks, Chinese troops had engaged in provocative action in the south bank of Ladakh's Pangong Lake. But India was able to "prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo" at the LAC, the Foreign Ministry had said, underscoring that there were no physical clashes.
The last action on August 31 was a daytime operation during which Indian soldiers were surrounded by Chinese soldiers, who were trying to regain the heights that are being dominated by the Indian Army.
Sources said the Chinese soldiers were warned not to proceed and Chinese military commanders in discussions with an Indian Brigadier at the time were asked to tell his forces to stand down to prevent any escalation.
An earlier attempt to carry out "provocative military movements to change the status quo" near Pangong lake had taken place on the night of August 29, in violation of rules that bar night-time operations. A huge number of Chinese troops, deployed along the south bank of the Pangong Lake, had moved westward to unilaterally occupy the area, sources said.
This is a new area where the Chinese troops transgressed as talks between the armies of both nations were on to resolve the tension along the LAC that peaked with the clash in Galwan valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action.
In July, following talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, India and China had started the disengagement process, which, however, remained incomplete.
After last week's transgressions by the Chinese troops, the foreign ministry said that India had taken it up with China through diplomatic and military channels and has "urged them to discipline and control" their frontline troops.
"Now the way ahead is negotiations, both through the diplomatic and military channels. The Indian side is firmly committed to resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue," the foreign ministry had said.