New Delhi/Ladakh: The Xi Jinping regime on Monday evening threatened that China-India border tensions will "surely escalate this time," since India had "crossed the LAC and purposely launched provocations."
The statement issued in Chinese state-run Global Times came after India on Monday morning revealed that it had pre-emptively thwarted Chinese intentions to unilaterally change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
India's Ministry of Defence said that People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops had violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.
"Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on the ground," the Chinese government said.
The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity, the statement said. A brigade commander-level flag meeting was held on Monday at Chushul to resolve the issues.
However, China rejected the Indian statement, claiming that instead, Indian troops had "illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Monday, which is a severe violation of the consensus reached before at the multi-level talks between the two countries," the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theatre Command said on Monday night.
The PLA Western Theatre Command urged India to withdraw its troops that crossed the LAC and strictly restrain frontline forces. "Such blatant provocations lead to tensions on the border," the statement said.
Quoting experts, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China (CPC) regime said, "Indian action this time will definitely escalate tensions, as China has been forced to be tough and would take action; otherwise the Indian provocation would be endless."
About 70 per cent of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the Global Times and China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) agree that the Chinese government should be tough in fighting back against India's provocations, and 89.1 per cent support military retaliation, with 50.4 per cent of them "strongly supporting" self-defence and counterattacks, the report said.
Admitting that the "negotiations held by the both sides since June 15 have achieved limited progress, as the Indian stance remains tough," the Chinese experts said that they had "even urged Chinese troops to retreat from some locations within Chinese territory, which China has refused."