100+ Chinese Soldiers Reportedly Cross Border, Damage Indian Bridge
12:21 GMT 28.09.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
The incident happened on 30 August in Barahoti, in the state of Uttarakhand, a region which has so far been relatively free of border tensions. This alleged transgression by the Chinese occurred as talks among the military and at diplomatic level take place between the two countries to disengage from the Ladakh region.
More than 100 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and 55 horses crossed into Indian Territory in the middle of the disputed 3,488km Line of Actual Control.
Insiders among security personnel told Economic Times that the incident took place on 30 August as Chinese soldiers crossed the Tun Jun La and damaged a bridge which was left for the Indians to repair.
“The incident on 30 August did not result in a face-off as PLA soldiers returned before they could be confronted,” the Indian security official said, mentioning another transgression on a much larger scale in July in the same area.
Since the area is de-militarised, locals informed India’s border guard of the intrusion.
New Delhi considers the Line of Actual Control to be 3,488km long,
whereas Beijing believes it is only 2,000km. The middle sector — the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh — is where there are the fewest tensions, with the two countries having come closer to a boundary agreement in 2018. The process, however, was stalled after India declared its northernmost state Ladakh as a separate Union Territory.
On 23 September, Vikram Misri, India’s ambassador to China, urged Beijing to “avoid moving the goalposts".
“The present issue is about restoring peace and tranquillity to the border areas and is not about the resolution of the larger Boundary Question, on which our stance has not changed, despite what happened last year.”
Misri also pleaded with China to stop viewing bilateral relations through the prism of relations with other countries.
Presently, the two sides have been carrying out talks at several levels to solve the situation in eastern Ladakh that has existed since April 2020. India's External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, met in person in Moscow last year and on two separate occasions in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, in July and September this year.
China’s Foreign Ministry statement quoted Wang saying, “the recent communication between the two foreign affairs and military departments was earnest and effective, and the overall situation in the border area was gradually de-escalated
However, the two sides have not finalised the next date of talks at military commanders level, to discuss the border disengagement issue in areas such as the Depsang valley in eastern Ladakh.