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Chinese and Indian Forces Clashed on Disputed Border

In the latest violence along the contested border since both countries engaged in a deadly brawl in June 2020, Indian troops clashed last week along their disputed border, the Indian defense minister said Tuesday.

Chinese and Indian Soldiers Clashed on Disputed LAC

India’s defense minister said Tuesday that troops from India and China clashed along their disputed border last week. It was the latest incident along the disputed frontier since June 2020, when both sides were involved in a deadly brawl. Rajnath Singh said the encounter on Friday began when Chinese troops invaded Indian territory along the disputed border near the Yangtze River area and unilaterally attempted to change the status quo.

Both sides retreated from the area shortly afterward, and Singh said no Indian soldiers were seriously injured. During a press conference on Monday, the Indian Army stated that troops had sustained minor injuries on both sides. During a Sunday meeting with local military commanders, Singh said the Indian government had spoken to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels regarding the dispute.

The Western Theater of the People’s Liberation Army spokesperson, Col. Long Shaohua, said that a Chinese border guard was set up to conduct routine patrols along the LAC’s Chinese border when the Indian Army crossed the line illegally. Long Shaohua said the Indian Army blocked the guards.

A statement on Long’s official social media channels requested that the Indian side strictly control and restrain its troops on the front lines and work with China to maintain tranquility and peace on the border. Moreover, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, stated at the daily briefing that “the situation along the China-India border at present is peaceful and stable.”

June 2020 Clash

Over the past several decades, China and India have been battling over the LAC, a loose boundary that divides Chinese and Indian territories from the Ladakh region in the west to the Arunachal Pradesh region in the east, which China claims in its entirety. 1962 saw an outbreak of war between India and China over their border. Ned Price, a United States State Department spokesperson, said that the administration was keeping a close eye on the conflict.

Price told reporters in Washington, D.C., that he strongly opposes any unilateral attempts by India and China to assert territorial claims by incursions across the border across the Line of Actual Control. Furthermore, he encouraged India and China to discuss disputed boundaries through existing bilateral channels. Soldiers have patrolled the disputed border from both sides in recent years. Two Asian giants have blamed each other for sending the military into the territory of the other when troops of opposing sides come into contact with each other.

Soldiers fought with stones, fists, and clubs in the Karakoram mountains in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June 2020, resulting in tensions. The death toll among the soldiers was at least 20 Indians and four Chinese. Both sides had tens of thousands of troops stationed along the de facto border, along with artillery, tanks, and fighter jets. Tensions between the two Asian giants have remained high despite multiple meetings between their military commanders in Ladakh.

Although some soldiers of both countries have withdrawn from a key point of friction in Ladakh, tensions between the two countries persist. In November, the Indian Army’s chief of staff, Manoj Pande, stated that the Chinese military presence in Ladakh had not decreased significantly. A stable but unpredictable border situation was described to him.

U.S. and Indian Military Drills

The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized United States-Indian military exercises in Uttarakhand, northern India, on November 30, saying they had failed to “build bilateral trust” and that Beijing had expressed concern to New Delhi. Since the China-US relationship has cratered, and the Quad Security Dialogue, which includes India, the United States, and America’s allies Australia and Japan, has become more active, China has grown suspicious of India’s ties with the United States.

Chinese and Indian Forces Clashed on Disputed Border
Chinese and Indian Forces Clashed on Disputed Border
Source: Web

In Bali last month, Chinese leader Xi and Modi met for the first time in a bilateral setting but only shook hands. Last week, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told Parliament before the skirmish that China-India relations had experienced “abnormality” in recent years due to border concerns and that New Delhi had “diplomatically” informed China they would not tolerate unilateral changes to the LAC.

“Jaishankar responded to a question regarding Sino-Indian relations by stating that the military commanders continue to engage each other as long as they continue to pursue that goal, and if they continue to build up forces in border areas, then our relationship is not normal,” he explained.

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