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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has accused the Indian military of breaking their agreement from 1996 that neither country would fire along the the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in Pangong Tso. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief at the Global Times, issued a blistering attack on India for daring to “underestimate China’s will”. He wrote on Twitter: “As far as I know, the PLA’s analysis is: The Indian side is underestimating China’s will as they did before 1962 and takes for granted that China dare not fight a war.
“But PLA has planned for the worst and is confident of utterly defeating Indian army in conflict of any level.”
The Global Times also issued a statement on Twitter warning India that it had “crossed the line”.
It said: “We must warn India seriously: You have crossed the line!
“Your frontline troops have crossed the line!
“Your nationalist public opinion has crossed the line!
“Your policy towards China has crossed the line!
“You are over-confidently provoking the PLA and Chinese people – this is like doing a handstand on the edge of a cliff!”
Zhang Shuili, a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command, accused Indian troops of firing first.
He told China’s Global Times newspaper: “Indian troops again illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Monday and outrageously fired warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate.
“Chinese troops were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation.
“The Indian troops crossed the LAC at the west section of the China-India border, into the Shenpao mountain region near the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake.
“The Indian side’s move seriously violated related agreements reached by both sides, stirred up tensions in the region, and would easily cause misunderstandings and misjudgments, which is a serious military provocation and is very vile in nature.”
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But India’s defence ministry quickly disputed China’s claims.
An official statement said its soldiers did not fired any shots.
It also accused the Chinese side of opening fire in the latest clash.
The statement said: “It was the PLA troops who were attempting to close in with one of our forward positions along the LAC.
“Despite the grave provocation, our troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.”
New Delhi added PLA soldiers fired “a few rounds in the air” to try to intimidate their rival.
Indian media said this was the first shot fired since a clash in 1975, which killed four Indian soldiers.
Tensions have been mounting since a fight at the Ladakh border in June left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
China has still not officially confirmed how many of its troops were lost.
However, this clash involved using sticks as weapons, rather than firearms, according to South China Morning Post.
This is also the second time in a week there has been a dispute along Pangong Tso.
India claimed five of its citizens had been kidnapped while they were out hunting along the border.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju said a military hotline, which is usually meant to defuse border tensions, had been used to report the kidnapping.
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