The Line of Actual Control on the India-China border in the state of Jammu and Kashmir was breached twice in the past three days by Chinese troops, at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are attending the BRICS meeting in Brazil, local reports said Thursday.
Troops from the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, last entered the Indian side of the border Tuesday, at the Charding Nilu Nullah Junction in Demchok sector on the border and announced that the territory belonged to China, according to Times News Network, or TNN. After a 30-minute-long banner drill -- an accepted practice between the forces of both countries to silently warn the other in the event of a transgression -- PLA troops returned to their positions on the Chinese side, the report added.
On Sunday, PLA troops had also tried entering the Chumar area, which lies about 800 meters from the border, to the west of Demchok. Again, banner drills followed between both sides before the Chinese returned back across the border, TNN reported. The Chumar area has reportedly witnessed intense activity by the PLA in recent days, including photographing Indian positions across the border.
The latest intrusions come after two more incidents -- on June 13 and April 30 -- that were discussed by Arun Jaitley, India’s defense minister, in the upper house of the Indian parliament on Tuesday, reports said, adding that the Indian Army protested the PLA's movements after the June 30 intrusion. The latest incident occurred while leaders of both the countries are attending the BRICS summit in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, and have discussed ways to resolve border disputes.
Modi raised the topic of border encroachments in his meeting with Xi and expressed a need for an amicable solution, local reports said. New Delhi's primary foreign policy concerns include border tensions on the west with Pakistan and with China in the north and east.
At the BRICS meeting, Modi also called for more Chinese investment in Indian businesses and infrastructure, according to Zee News, a local news network, and both leaders reportedly agreed to increase Indian exports to China, to counter a trade imbalance between two of the fastest-growing Asian economies.
Xi also invited Modi to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event in November in Beijing, where 21 economies from the Pacific Rim will meet to promote higher economic cooperation.