Amid the ongoing border standoff between India and China, Beijing on Tuesday said it has never encroached upon foreign territory in the 70-odd years of new China's foundation as it again tried to blame New Delhi for the tensions in Ladakh.
China, which has alleged that Indian troops “illegally trespassed” across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the southern bank of Pangong lake, said India should take its concerns seriously and make efforts to contribute to peace and tranquility at the border.
"Seventy-odd years since the founding of new China, China never provoked any war or conflict and never occupied an inch of other country’s territory. China border troops always strictly abide by the LAC and never crossed the line," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Earlier on Monday, India's defence ministry said Chinese troops had "carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo" in the eastern Ladakh region over the weekend.
Military commanders from the two sides held talks on Monday in a new bid to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who fought a border war in 1962 and have staged regular high altitude clashes since.
"Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground," said India's defence ministry.
China did not confirm Saturday's incident, but the foreign ministry said its troops have "always strictly respected" the unofficial border known as the Line of Actual Control.
Reiterating its stand, Hua said on Tuesday, “The Indian side’s statement may be different from the Chinese but there is only one truth and fact.”
She further said, “Perhaps there are some communication issues. I think both sides should stick to facts and have goodwill in maintaining the overall bilateral relations and take concrete measures to jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border.”
Hua also referred to the Indian military’s strengthening of deployment along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. “We noticed that for some time in India there have been many media reports about increased military along the border. I think people of the two countries want to live peacefully together and such Indian media reports are not consistent with people’s aspirations,” she said.
The spokesperson added that for some time China and India have held multilevel engagement and talks and made active efforts to peacefully resolve differences on the border and possibly disputes to safeguard peace and tranquillity along the border.
“On August 31st, Indian troops violated the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations between China and India, illegally trespassed the Line of Actual Control again at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake and near the Reqin Pass in the western sector of China-India border, and conducted flagrant provocations…” the Chinese embassy statement claimed.
“What India has done runs counter to the efforts made by both sides for a period of time to ease and cool down the situation on the ground, and China is resolutely opposed to this. China has made solemn representations to the Indian side, urged the Indian side to strictly control and restrain its frontline troops… immediately withdraw its troops illegally trespassing the Line of Actual Control…” it added.