China and India on Tuesday accused each other’s troops of firing warning shots along a disputed border, as tensions between the two nuclear powers continue to escalate despite holding talks to defuse the standoff.
China’s western military command said the incident happened Monday along the southern coast of Pangong Lake in an area known in China as Shenpaoshan, and in India as Chushul. Chinese officials said Indian forces crossed into the territory it holds and were the first to fire warning shots at a Chinese patrol.
After shots were fired, Chinese forces took “necessary measures to stabilize and control the situation,” the command said in a statement citing spokesman Zhang Shuili.
India denied China’s accusations and said Chinese soldiers tried to surround one of its forward posts in a “grave provocation” and also fired warning shots.
In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, file photo, an Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)
Col. Aman Anand, an Indian army spokesman, said China continues “provocative activities to escalate” tensions and called the Chinese military statement an attempt to mislead domestic and international audiences.
Officials for each country accused the other of violating agreements made over the disputed border.
The two countries have been engaged in a tense standoff in the Ladakh region for decades but it escalated in May.
In this Sept. 14, 2018, file photo, Border Roads Organization workers rest near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region, India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
Late last month, India accused China of making “provocative” military moves near the border “to change the status quo.” China denied this and accused Indian troops of crossing established lines of control.
The conflict turned deadly in June when Indian officials said Chinese troops fought Indian soldiers atop a ridge in the narrow Galwan valley. The Chinese troops threw stones, punched and pushed Indian soldiers down the ridge at around 15,000 feet, leaving 20 Indians dead, including a colonel. China did not report any casualties.
The nuclear-armed rivals’ defense ministers met Friday in Moscow in the first high-level direct contact between the sides since the standoff began.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.