New Delhi: After two incidents of face-offs between Chinese and Indian soldiers last week, the Indian Army Chief and the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday played them down, noting that they had been resolved locally and that this was not an unusual feature thanks to the disputed boundary with China.
There were scuffles between troops of the two countries near Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh on May 5, followed by another incident with minor injuries at Naku La in Sikkim on May 9.
Indian Army Chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Thursday that the troops suffered minor injuries due to “aggressive behaviour by both sides,” with disengagement taking place at the local level.
“Temporary and short duration face-offs between border guarding troops do occur along the LAC due to the differing perceptions of the alignment of boundaries which are not resolved,” said Naravane to reporters.
He also said the two incidents were “neither co-related nor do they have any connection with other global or local activities”.
“All such incidents are managed by established mechanisms where-in local formations from both sides resolve issues mutually as per established protocols and strategic guidelines given by the PM after the Wuhan and Mamallapuram summits,” said the Army Chief.
Later in the day, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava echoed General Naravane’s remarks. “Occasionally however on account of difference in perception of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC,” he said at the weekly briefing.
Srivastava stated that the two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such incidents.
He also reiterated that the outcome of the two information summits had been for the leadership to affirm the need for peace and tranquillity on the border areas.
“The two leaders had also directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence building measures agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions. As a result, India-China border has largely been peaceful,” said the MEA spokesperson.
Srivastava added that the Indian side remains committed to the objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.
Earlier, the Indian Army Chief said that the military was holding its “force posture” despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He also asserted that the infrastructure development along the border was also on track. “Our BRO continues to work tirelessly even during the COVID-19 pandemic to connect farﬂung areas so that our civil brethren living in those locations are connected and facilitate faster development to the region”.