India blames China for firing the first shot in over 45 years

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India-China Border Clash: Indian Army Tuesday squarely blamed Chinese PLA for firing the first shot near Shenapo mountain on the southern bank of Pan-gong Tso lake on Monday while reiterating its commitment maintain peace and tranquility at the border while protecting the country’s territorial integrity at all costs, the army said in a statement.

“At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing,” Indian Army said in a statement.

“It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress,” Indian Army said.

Indian Army also rejected Chinese Army’s accusation of taking any provocative steps on the line of actual control between the two countries in the Eastern Ladakh region.

READ: India-China Firing: Shots fired between Indian Army, Chinese PLA

In a late evening statement, senior colonel Zhang Shuili, official spokesperson of Chinese Army’s Western Theatre Command which looks after Tibet’s border with India accused Indian Army of violating the line of actual control (LAC) near Shenapo mountain.

India-China firing at Line of Actual Control (LAC)

“In the instant case on 07 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops,” Indian Army said.  

India China Army Firing Ladakh

Gen MM Naravane in Ladakh.

Indian Army lost its 20 soldiers, including one CO level officer, in a violent face-off with PLA soldiers in the Galwan valley region in Ladakh on June 15. An unconfirmed number of Chinese soldiers also died in the bloody hand-to-hand fight on the fateful night.

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Since the start of tense stand-off in May this year, Indian and Chinese Armies have held five high level meetings at Lieutenant General level to resolve the issue with little progress.

Reacting to Monday’s (September 7, 2020) development, Indian Army said while India was committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation on the LAC, China continued to undertake provocative activities to escalate.

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“However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner,” Indian Army said.

Indian Army said it was committed to maintaining peace and tranquility but at the same time, it was also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs.

The statement by the Western Theater Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience,” Indian Army added.

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