There were no casualties among Indian troops stationed along the shared border, China said shortly after media suggested one service member died in the troubled area following deadly clashes between the Asian nations months ago.
Speculation that a commando soldier was killed on the border started swirling after a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile told AFP that a soldier of Tibetan origin was “martyred during the clash” on Saturday night. The unverified casualty report was picked up by some international media, although no details of the “clash in question” were provided.
On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed the reports, telling reporters that no member of India’s armed forces died on the mountainous border with China.
Earlier this week, India accused the Chinese military of trying to cross the de-facto border on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake, ostensibly in a bid to gain territory. Indian armed forces claimed they pre-empted the alleged incursion, with Beijing swiftly denying it had ever taken place.
Indian troops reinforce positions near Rezang La
India has moved a Regiment of T90 tanks to the vulnerable Spanggur pass at Chushul to thwart any possible Chinese ingress.#IndianArmy is maintaining a tight vigil across the entire 3,488km stretch of the Line of Actual Control pic.twitter.com/LWJjMM3hgh
— 🇮🇳✈ MAJOR ✈🇮🇳 (@activator_n) September 1, 2020
Meanwhile, India moved to reinforce the eastern stretch of its border with China following the reported clashes, dispatching more troops to the area, Reuters reported. The Indian military confirmed the news but said the troop deployment is routine and is “happening as it happens every time, nothing much.”
Over the past days, both China and India have accused each other of crossing the Line of Actual Control in the disputed and scarcely populated mountainous area known as Aksai Chin in China, and Eastern Ladakh in India. The region has been contested by the two for decades.
There has been a flare-up of tensions between Chinese and Indian troops along the poorly delimited border in recent weeks and months. The most serious standoff occurred on June 15, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a clash with the Chinese. Beijing, meanwhile, did not confirm the number of casualties on its side.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk