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Indian and Chinese soldiers clash at disputed frontier

Written by on 25/01/2021

Indian and Chinese soldiers have clashed along the countries’ disputed border, Indian officials have confirmed, as a months-long standoff between the nations continues.

The violence in the Naku La area of Sikkim came four days before the countries held another round of talks on Sunday in an attempt to end the tensions in the remote Ladakh region.

The Indian army described the clash as “a minor face off” and said it “was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols”.

Indian security officials said at least 18 Chinese soldiers tried to cross into Indian-claimed territory last Wednesday night and were blocked by Indian soldiers, leading to clashes with sticks and stones.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said he did not have information to provide on the incident but urged India “not to take any unilateral action that may further complicate or exacerbate the border tension”.

Military tankers carrying fuel in the region
Image: Military tankers carrying fuel in the region

Several soldiers from both militaries are reported to have been injured. There was no independent confirmation of the incident.

A similar face-off took place last summer in the same region.

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Both sides have mobilised tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery and fighter aircraft along the fiercely contested border known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories, from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety

In June last year deadly clashes between a large number of Indian and Chinese soldiers took place at the Galwan valley area.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the hand-to-hand combat which involved sticks and batons.

Media reports stated dozens of Chinese soldiers had also died but there was no confirmation from the Chinese military.

This was the first time in 45 years that lives were lost on the India-China border.

In June 2017, India objected to Chinese military constructing a road at the tri-junction border of India and Bhutan at Doklam.

A scuffle broke out between soldiers of both militaries and a standoff of 73 days triggered fears of a war between the Asian giants.

 Sky News

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