India and China deployed in 'large numbers' in border showdown: foreign ministry
New Delhi (AFP) - India admitted on Thursday for the first time that after a fatal clash this month, it has equated China with the accumulation of troops in its competitive Himalayan border region.
However, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused China of causing tensions from the start of military operations, and warned that if the stalemate continues, relations between the two most populous nations in the world could be undermined.
The neighbors blamed each other for a June 15 battle in the Ladakh region that killed 20 Indian soldiers while China suffered an unknown number of casualties.
While everyone said he wanted to de-escalate the territorial showdown, India's Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, "Both sides remain in the region in large numbers while military and diplomatic contacts continue."
Srivastava said that "Chinese actions" at the unofficial border, known as the "Line of Actual Control" (LAC), had led to a deadly fight with stones and batons this month. No shots were fired.
"The focus is that the Chinese side has amassed a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC since the beginning of May," the spokesman accused.
He added that China had hindered India's patrols, in violation of skirmishes between its armies that waged a border war in 1962 and have been clashing regularly since then.
Srivastava said Chinese forces had built structures on the Indian side of their line of demarcation in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh where the battle would be fought at great heights.
"While there have been occasional departures in the past, the behavior of the Chinese armed forces this year has completely violated all mutually agreed norms," said the spokesman.
India must "take countermeasures because of the Chinese construction," he said.
Military commanders have had talks and their foreign ministers have also discussed ways to end the showdown.
"Peace and tranquility in the border areas are the basis of our bilateral relationship," said Srivastava, calling on China to keep its promise of cool tensions.
"A continuation of the current situation would only affect the atmosphere for the development of the relationship."
China has accused the Indian armed forces of causing the battle on June 15 by attacking its troops.
Beijing has also urged India to "immediately stop all injurious and provocative actions."
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