Indian and Chinese troops clash on disputed border

Date:


New Delhi
CNN

Indian and Chinese troops have clashed on their disputed border with the Himalayas, the first known incident between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers in nearly two years.

In a statement, India’s defense ministry said soldiers from both sides suffered minor injuries in the clash, which took place on Friday in the Tawang sector in the northeastern Indian territory of Arunachal Pradesh, a remote, inhospitable region bordering southern China.

The 3,379-kilometer disputed border has long been the source of friction between New Delhi and Beijing, with tensions escalating sharply in June 2020 when hand-to-hand fighting between the two sides resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers in Aksai Chin-Ladakh.

Speaking to lawmakers Tuesday, India’s defense minister, Rajnath Singh, accused China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops of trying to “unilaterally” change the status quo by attempting to cross the line of effective control (LAC) – the de facto border of the two countries.

“The ensuing confrontation led to a physical scuffle where the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from entering our territory and forced them to return to their posts,” Singh said, adding that there were no serious injuries on the Indian side.

In an earlier statement, India’s defense ministry said both sides “immediately withdrew from the area” and that the countries’ respective commanders there held a flag meeting to discuss the issue “in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility “.

Singh said the meeting took place on Sunday and the Chinese side was asked “to refrain from such actions and to maintain peace and tranquility” along the border. The issue was also addressed through diplomatic channels, he added.

China has yet to officially respond to the incident.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said last week ahead of the skirmish in parliament that there had been “abnormality” in China-India relations over the past few years due to border issues, and that New Delhi was “very clear” diplomatically been with China that they will not tolerate “attempts to unilaterally change” the LAC.

“So as long as they keep trying, and if they have built up forces that we believe are a serious problem in the border areas, then our relationship is not normal,” Jaishankar said in response to a question on Sino-Indian relations, adding that the military commanders “continue to address each other”.

India and China went to war over their border regions in 1962, eventually establishing the LAC. But the two countries disagree on the exact location, and both regularly accuse the other of crossing the border or trying to expand its territory. There has been a series of mostly non-fatal skirmishes over the position of the border in the years since, including the previously most recent known example in 2021, according to a then statement by the Indian Army.

In September, the Indian government said Indian and Chinese troops had begun withdrawing from the Gogra-Hotsprings border region in the western Himalayas, two years after clashes at the border strained diplomatic relations.

That statement came ahead of a regional summit in Uzbekistan attended by both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Activities in the region are closely monitored on both sides.

On November 30, China’s foreign ministry criticized joint high-altitude exercises between US and Indian troops in Uttarakhand in northern India, saying the exercises “failed to build bilateral confidence” and that Beijing had expressed concern to New Delhi.

China has become wary of India’s ties to the United States in recent years as China-US relations have deteriorated and the Quad Security Dialogue, which includes India, the US and US allies Japan and Australia, is more active become.

Modi and Chinese leader Xi last met at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali last month, where the two shook hands but held no bilateral talks.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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