Chinese, Indian troops injured in fresh border ‘face-off’

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NEW DELHI — Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a fresh “face-off” on their disputed Himalayan border last week, leaving several injured on both sides, sources said Monday.اضافة اعلان

The incident on December 9 led to “minor injuries to (a) few personnel from both sides”, one source said. Another source, from the Indian army, said at least six Indian soldiers were hurt.

China was yet to comment officially.

Chinese soldiers came close to the area near the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border — where it had been agreed that neither side would patrol, the sources said.

This move was “contested by ... (Indian) troops in a firm and resolute manner”, the first source said.

After the skirmish both sides “immediately disengaged from the area”, the source added.

An Indian commander later held a meeting with a Chinese counterpart “to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility”.

The incident took place in the Tawang Sector of the northeastern Indian state Arunachal Pradesh, all of which is claimed by China. Beijing refers to the area as South Tibet.

The first source said that there are “areas of differing perception, wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines. This has been the trend since 2006.”

Indian media reports quoted unnamed sources as saying that the incident involved around 300 members of China’s People’s Liberation Army, and that China suffered a greater number of injuries.

China and India fought a war in 1962 over their long and disputed border.

Undefined border
Tensions have simmered between the countries since a clash in 2020 that left 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops dead.

The exact path of the border, some of which is more than 4,000m above sea level, has never been demarcated.

Winter temperatures can plunge below -30°C, cracking gun barrels and seizing up machinery.

Even before the June 2020 clash, India was moving strategically closer to the West, deepening security cooperation with the US, Japan, and Australia in the Asia-Pacific region.

United by their concern about China’s increasing influence in the region, together they make up the so-called Quad alliance.

India has also embarked on a $130-billion modernization of its armed forces — including ordering attack helicopters from the US and a missile defense system from Russia.

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