Referring to the violation of Indian airspace by the Chinese helicopter, army chief Bipin Rawat earlier this month claimed the allegations of intrusion are matters of perceptions by the two sides rather than incursion attempts. India's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chinese officials said they were concerned about the safety of the Indian pilgrims which is why they were stopped from proceeding further.
Amid growing tensions in bilateral ties, China, besides denying entry to Indian pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar, has also taken exception to the new air cargo corridor between India and Afghanistan that allows them to trade goods bypassing Pakistan.
The Indian Army and the PLA officials held a meeting on June 20 and discussed the matter.
Both the PLA and the Chinese foreign ministry gave a different sequence of events. "The Indian Army has sent reinforcements to the area and our men are on high alert 24×7", the official said.
Reportedly, the Chinese Army also destroyed two Indian bunkers at the Lalten of the Doka La area, a place at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction. Sputnik reported in January this year that the Indian Army was using hollow block structures for building hundreds of bunkers near Sikkim. The face-off has been going on in Doka La general area in Sikkim for the past 10 days.
"There was some jostling and a scuffle between the rival troops". They had to form a human wall to stop the advance of Chinese troops.
China has accused Indian troops of "crossing the boundary" in the Sikkim section, calling for their immediate withdrawal and a thorough investigation of the issue.
"This seriously damaged peace and tranquillity in the border areas".
China's leading state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times on Monday described the air corridor as "exhibiting India's stubborn geopolitical thinking" to counter Chinese ambitious $54 billion economic corridor that runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The PLA, in a statement, said: "The China-Indian border in Sikkim has been delineated by historical treaties".
Ties between China and India have always been frosty as a result of long-term territorial disputes, as well as Beijing's support of Pakistan, and Indian leaders declined to attend China's "Belt and Road" summit aimed at boosting regional economic and political ties last month.