RIA Novosti says Indian External Affairs Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar said India was “putting pressure on China” to de-escalate tensions and deployed a record number of forces on the border between the two countries.

The Indian Express reports that with the government facing opposition criticism over the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, External Affairs Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar said on December 19 that the Indian military will not let China change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) “unilaterally”.  He said the deployment of Indian troops has been scaled up to a level “we have never had”.

According to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report, Jaishankar, while speaking at India Today’s India-Japan conclave, said: “I am saying that it is the obligation of the Indian state and that is the duty and commitment of the Indian military that we will not let any country, and in this case China, change the LAC unilaterally.”

According to The Indian Express, rejecting the opposition’s criticism, the external affairs minister said: “If we were in denial, then how is the Army out there?  The Army did not go there because Rahul Gandhi asked them to go.  The Army went there because the Prime Minister of India ordered them to go…”

RIA Novosti says that earlier, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on December 9 that Chinese troops are trying to breach the border in Arunachal Pradesh state and “unilaterally change the status quo”. 

There is a long-standing land dispute between India and China over the ownership of a mountainous region in northern Kashmir, as well as an area of approximately 60,000 square kilometers in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.