India’s foreign minister has said that the country has scaled up troop deployment along a disputed border with China to an unprecedented level.
S Jaishankar added that India wouldn’t let China “unilaterally change” the status quo at the border.
His comments came days after Indian and Chinese forces clashed in a disputed area along the border in Arunachal Pradesh state.
India said that the encounter began due to “encroachment” by Chinese troops.
India and China share a disputed 3,440km (2,100 mile) long de facto border – called the Line of Actual Control, or LAC – which is poorly demarcated. Soldiers on either side come face to face at many points, and tensions sometimes escalate into skirmishes or clashes.
The latest flare-up – the first in more than a year – occurred on 9 December, and resulted in minor injuries to a few soldiers. Both sides immediately disengaged from the area, the Indian army said.
Jaishankar was answering questions about the incident while speaking at an event organized by media company India Today on Monday.
“Today, you have a deployment of the Indian Army on China border that we never had. It is done to counter Chinese aggression. The Indian Army today is deployed to counter any attempt to unilaterally change LAC,” he said.
China hasn’t responded to the comments yet.
The latest clash led to a political uproar in India last week, with opposition parties walking out of parliament after their demand for an immediate discussion of the border situation was denied.