The Chinese military had termed India’s patrolling up the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh as ‘transgression’, to which the Indian Army had denied any claims and said that it will continue to traverse.
The Indian Army, meanwhile, objected to the terminology used by the Chinese military to describe its patrolling in Arunachal Pradesh’s Asaphila.
The issue of the patrolling was raised at a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) which was conducted on March 15 in Kibithu, during which the Indian Army claimed that the upper region of Subansiri region in Arunachal Pradesh belonged to India and the Army had been carrying regular patrols there.
“China's protest to our patrolling in Asaphila is surprising,” said a source, adding that the Chinese military had intruded several times in the area, and that the Indian side had taken it seriously in the past.
Under the BPM guidelines, both the sides can register their protest over any incident of transgressions because of varying perceptions about the border between both the countries.
The delegation of China’s Peoples Liberation Army mentioned excessive patrolling by the Indian troops in the Asaphila area, and said that such ‘violations’ may rise tension between both the countries.
However, India denied all such claims and said that they are aware of the alignment of the LAC, adding that the Army will continue to patrol there.
The sources added that the Chinese military specially mentioned large-scale patrolling on December 21, 22, and 23 last.
The BPMs are held by both Indian and Chinese troops to resolve high issues which can trigger tensions along the border side. There are, in total, five BPMs along the LAC at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chusul in Ladakh, and Nathu La in Sikkim.
At the March 15 BPM, the Chinese Army also accused the Indian Army of damaging its road building equipment. However, India rejected this allegation, too.
A road construction team had crossed into the Indian territory, about one kilometre inside the LAC in the Tuting area in the last week of December. This, however, increased war-fighting drills to deal with all possible situations along the LAC following the Doklam standoff, reported the PTI.
A senior Army official said, “We are fully prepared to deal with any situation.”
Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-days standoff in Doklam from June 16, 2017 to August 28, 2017, after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army.
The government has been focusing on strengthening its defences along the border with China.
In January, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said that it was time for the country to shift its focus from its borders with Pakistan to China, prioritising the seriousness of the situation.