MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) — Chinese troops have allegedly entered disputed territory along the Sino-Indian border, Indian media sources report, claiming it's not the first time China has made an incursion into the Indian border region.
"Chinese troops are reported to have entered 25 to 30km deep into Indian territory in Burtse area in Ladakh where they had pitched their tents last year that had led to a tense three-week standoff," The Times of India reported on Monday, August, 18.
Citing official sources, the media outlet notes that troops from the People's Liberation Army were spotted on Monday near the 'New Patrol base' post in Ladakh's Burtse area. According to these sources, the PLA has crossed a de-facto border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and moved deeper into Indian-held territory. The PLA reportedly carried flags reading "this is Chinese territory, go back" in their hands.
Remarkably, Col. S. D. Goswami, an Udhampur-based Army spokesperson, dismissed these reports of a PLA intrusion, stressing that no official, mutually-recognized Line of Control existed between China and India.
"There are areas along the Indo-Chinese border where India and China have differing perceptions of LAC. Due to both sides undertaking patrolling up to their respective perception of the LAC, transgressions do occur. However, no incursion or encroachment of Indian territory by China has taken place along the India-China border," he was cited by The Times of India as having said.
Col. Goswami pointed out that India and China usually resolve all their disputes in accordance with established diplomatic practices, particularly flag meetings, border personnel meetings, consultations and official agreements between the two states.
Last year, the Chinese and Indian media were reporting a "tent confrontation" near the LAC between the Indian Army and the PLA.
"From an Indian perception, the Chinese army has invaded Indian territory," the Global Times, a daily Chinese media source, reported in May, 2013.
"The root reason for so many "incursions" is that the two sides have not reached a consensus on the LAC, let alone a formal border… There is a very small possibility that China and India will fall into serious conflict," the media outlet insisted. Indeed, the territorial dispute was peacefully resolved in 2013.
Although the Western mass media and some Indian sources have expressed concerns regarding China's alleged intrusion into India, the latest conflict is likely to be resolved via diplomatic channels again, experts believe.