China on Wednesday said its military was “accelerating its training” for war-preparedness amid tensions at the border with India, local media reported.
“All troops of China’s military are now accelerating field training for war-preparedness, with gradually normalized COVID19 epidemic control measures,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters, according to the daily Global Times.
Qian added that the Tibet Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army recently conducted comprehensive live-fire drills on a high-altitude plateau to “test the troops’ joint combat capability.”
“The drills are regularly scheduled and not aimed at any specific country,” he maintained.
The statement came amid a recent military spat between China and its southeastern neighbor India along their mutual de facto frontier, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir’s eastern Ladakh region.
China blamed India for the clashes on June 16 that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian troops. Beijing has not disclosed whether the Chinese side suffered any casualties.
“The responsibility for the China-India border conflicts lies entirely with the Indian side,” Qian asserted, according to a report by the state-owned CGTN news broadcaster.
Qian said: “Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC [Line of Actual Control]. We expect the Chinese side to also confine its activities to our side of the LAC.”
“The incident was completely caused by the Indian side’s unilateral provocation and violation of consensus between the two sides,” said Qian, adding: “China hopes to maintain peace and stability in the border areas.”
However, Indian External Affairs Ministry claimed on June 19 that the China’s “premeditated and planned” actions at the border “was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties suffered by both sides.” The ministry also blamed Beijing for attempting “unilaterally” to change the status quo at the LAC.
Border tensions between the two countries have existed for more than seven decades.
China claims territory in India’s northeast, while New Delhi accuses Beijing of occupying its territory in the Aksai Chin plateau in the Himalayas, including part of the Ladakh region — both of which are part of Jammu and Kashmir region.
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