Chinese officials have dismissed Chinese General Luo Yan's tough talk against India as not representing the official view. But Luo frequently channels a hardline Chinese military view that is increasingly hard to dismiss.
India signalled to visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that the border issue is of "core interest", and withheld boilerplate acknowledge of India's commitment to the 'one China' principle. These are not without significance.
In a firm message to China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight voiced India's serious concern over the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh and told his counterpart Li Keqiang that in the absence of peace and tranquility along the border, bilateral ties will suffer.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang begins his India visit today. If India plays its cards right, and protects its interests with finesse, the two countries have the capacity to reset their relationship.
Indian suspicions about Chinese grand strategems should not be allowed to impede any progress in the Sino-Indian border talks. But it is important to mark the boundary before committing to a freeze on troop and infrastructure build-up.
India and China have backed off from their eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in the Himalayas. But there is reason to believe that India may have paid a high price by giving China the right to determine what happens on our side of the fence.
There is diplomatic space for India to exert itself against the Chinese incursion without resorting to military adventurism. But to exert the levers of coercive diplomacy, you need to know that you have a spine in the first place.
To the extent that Chinese troops are still in notionally Indian territory and are looking to extract a price for their withdrawal, China is looking to expand its sovereignty map - without firing a single shot.
Perhaps this incursion was intended by the new Chinese leadership to signal Chinese frustration at the lack of progress in the talks on the border dispute despite years of negotiations. If that is so, it reflects raw power, not sagacity.
A look at the armed forces of the two nations and how they stack up against each other.
There are a whole range of graded options for India to signal its mind without resorting to belligerence. There is no time like the present to exercise them.
So long as India insists on pussyfooting its way around Chinese sensibilities, even in the face of grave provocations, India will continue be seen as a pushover.
"Our government will take every step to protect the national integrity and security", he said, when asked about the issue.