China Accuses India of Sparking Fresh Skirmish in Border Dispute

China accused India’s army of entering Chinese territory and making threats to its troops Monday on the Himalayan border, in a new sign of friction days after the countries’ defense ministers agreed to defuse tensions.

Indian troops “illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control on the southern bank of Pangong Tso and fired warning shots against patrolling Chinese forces,” Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesman for the Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army, said in a statement Tuesday. Chinese troops were “forced to take countermeasures to stabilize the situation,” Zhang said, without elaborating.

“The Indian behavior has severely violated agreements reached between two sides and escalated tensions,” Zhang said, urging the Indians to withdraw. “Such behavior could easily lead to miscalculation. It is a serious military provocation.”

The latest dispute came just days after Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe, agreed to ease tensions after “frank and in-depth discussions” in Moscow. Pangong Tso is a glacial lake at 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) in the western reaches of the contested Kasmir area.

Chinese-Indian relations have soured over each other’s actions along the 3,488 kilometer (2,162 mile) Line of Actual Control. Multiple rounds of high-level military talks failed to end the months-long standoff.

Both India and China have moved thousands of troops, tanks, artillery guns and fighter jets close to the border since their standoff began in May.

— With assistance by Sharon Chen, and Jing Li

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