Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has said no one can prevent Indian soldiers from patrolling the border in Ladakh region. China has amassed troops in the area and will see India’s counter-deployment, he added.

The spate of skirmishes between Indian and Chinese soldiers over the last few months was primarily over the issue of patrolling the Ladakh border, the minister said. The incidents resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers, though Beijing has yet to confirm Chinese casualties.

Singh denied allegations that Indian forces are not being allowed to patrol in certain parts of the Galwan valley. “No force in the world can stop Indian soldiers from patrolling. Our soldiers have sacrificed their lives only for this,” he said.

The minister was speaking in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament, on the ongoing situation and insisted that the patrolling pattern is both traditional and well defined. He said that Beijing and New Delhi have yet to resolve the boundary issue, adding that “China does not accept the customary and traditional alignment of the boundary.”

The increased tensions between the two states center on the undemarcated mountain border in the Ladakh sector which adjoins Tibet. Last Monday, each accused the other’s troops of firing in the air on the southern bank of the lake.

Singh also said on Thursday that China has amassed troops on the border, and in response, India has made appropriate counter-deployment.

In recent months, India has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies, and food into Ladakh, according to Reuters sources. The move was triggered by a border stand-off with China back in May which escalated in June into hand-to-hand combat.

The foreign ministers of China and India met in Moscow last week, and said that their discussion had yielded a five-point plan to ease the worst border crisis between the two countries in decades.

However, despite this seeming consensus, China on Wednesday blamed India for “violating” border agreements and said New Delhi bears responsibility for the recent tensions.

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