The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said that the border tensions between the India and China at Eastern Ladakh are very ‘worrying’ and ‘serious’ situation which the United Kingdom is closely monitoring.

This was the first official statement by the UK PM on the issue that has grabbed international attention as the two ‘economic giants’ are involved.

The statement came during his weekly Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Responding to Conservative Party MP Flick Drummond on the implications for British interests of a dispute between a “Commonwealth member and the world’s largest democracy on the one side, and a state that challenges our notion of democracy on the other,” he described the escalation in eastern Ladakh as “a very serious and worrying situation”, which the UK is “monitoring closely”.

“Perhaps the best thing I can say… is that we are encouraging both parties to engage in dialogue on the issues on the border and sort it out between them,” the Prime Minister said.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi has said that both the sides have agreed that expeditious implementation of the previously agreed understanding on disengagement of troops from standoff points in eastern Ladakh would help ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas.

However, as per the reports on Thursday, defying the agreed mutual consensus to disengage, Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops have returned to Patrolling Post 14 on the Line of Actual Control in Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh.

The PLA has even reportedly set up tents and an observation point exactly where it was on June 15, sources quoted by IANS said, adding that the Chinese have returned with huge reinforcements even after they have agreed to withdraw their troops and dismantle their setups.

There was “mutual consensus to disengage” along the Line of Actual Control during the senior military-level meeting held at Moldo on the Chinese side of LAC opposite Chushul.

The modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in eastern Ladakh were also discussed and will be taken forward by both the sides, the Indian Army sources had stated.

The high-level military talk, held to resolve the border issue and ease tension in eastern Ladakh, comes even as over thousands of Indian Armymen stood a few meters away from LAC against Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

This was the second such meeting after the first one on June 6 happened to defuse the tensions.