Commander-level talks were held on Wednesday afternoon to diffuse the situation between Indian and Chinese forces in Eastern Ladakh amid persisting border tensions between the two neighbours. The talks took place just hours ahead of those between the external affairs ministers of both nations.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is on a four-day visit to Russia to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) where he is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
News18 has learnt that the situation continues to be tense at the north bank of Pangong Tso. Officials say 1,500-2,000 chinese soldiers have climbed the ridges near Finger 3 on the north bank of the lake with what appears to be ammunition.
The two sides are currently separated only by 300 metres.
"It is almost eyeball to eyeball. Indian and Chinese sides in large numbers have occupied two ridge tops with their weapons. There is a chasm between the two heights but the aerial distance is only about 300 metres," an official in Ladakh told News18.
The information was corroborated by a second officer in the security establishment who said the PLA started assembling troops at Finger 3 after figuring out the Indian side's strategy of occupying heights to keep an eye on the opponents. "All night the situation was tense. Today afternoon, some nerves were calmed but both sides continue to deploy their troops," the officer added.
India and China had a fresh face-off on Tuesday when the Chinese side accused Indian troops of illegally crossing the border at the shore of the God Pao Mountain area and firing warning shots. India, however, denied the claims, with the defence ministry saying: "India, while is committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation on the LAC, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate. At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing.”
The ministry said the PLA has been blatantly "violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres" while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress.
The skirmish came two days after the defence ministers of India and China met in Moscow.