Indian and Chinese Troops Clash Last Week Along Border

India says its forces clashed with Chinese troops last week along their disputed border in the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The latest confrontation will deepen tensions between New Delhi and Beijing, whose relations have been frosty since a skirmish in another part of their border in 2020 killed 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

The face-off took place last Friday and caused minor injuries to soldiers from both sides, an Indian army statement said. It said that both sides “immediately disengaged from the area” and that commanders from both sides held a meeting “to restore peace and tranquility.”

The site of the latest clash lies in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh state, which is controlled by New Delhi but is also claimed by Beijing.

The army gave no details of the clash, but the Indian Express newspaper quoted sources as saying there was “intense hand-to-hand combat with sticks and canes for a few hours.”

The Indian and Chinese border has been volatile since the deadly skirmish in 2020 between soldiers of the two Asian giants two and a half years ago that took place in Ladakh toward the west.

The nearly 3,500-kilometer frontier in the Himalayan mountains runs from Ladakh in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east and is called the line of actual control.

Protracted talks between their military commanders since that clash have resulted in troops disengaging from several so-called “friction” points. But both sides continue to deploy tens of thousands of soldiers backed with artillery tanks and fighter jets and are racing to build infrastructure along their Himalayan border.

Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing refers to as South Tibet, is one of the areas where India has strengthened defenses and where soldiers are hunkering down.

The clash took place two days after Indian foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, told parliament India has been “very clear with the Chinese” that New Delhi will not tolerate attempts to “unilaterally” change the line of actual control.

“So long as they continue to seek to do that and if they have built up forces which in our minds constitute a serious concern in the border areas, then our relationship is not normal and the abnormality of that has been in evidence in the last two years,” he said.

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