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Clashes between Indian and Chinese forces on the disputed border

Clashes between Indian and Chinese forces on the disputed border

New Delhi

Indian And the Chinese The forces clashed over their disputed Himalayan border, in the first known incident between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers in nearly two years.

India’s defense ministry said in a statement that soldiers from both sides sustained minor injuries in the encounter on Friday in the Tawang sector in northeastern India’s Arunachal Pradesh province, a remote and inhospitable region bordering southern China.

It is 2,100 miles (3,379 kilometers) long. disputed borders It has long been a source of friction between New Delhi and Beijing, with tensions escalating sharply in June 2020 when a hand-to-hand battle took place. Fighting between the two sides It killed at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers in Aksai Chin Ladakh.

Speaking to lawmakers on Tuesday, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh accused China’s People’s Liberation Army forces of trying to “unilaterally” change the status quo by attempting to cross the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between the two countries.

“The ensuing confrontation led to a physical altercation in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from encroaching on our territory and forced them back to their posts,” Singh said, adding that there were no serious casualties on the Indian side.

In its previous statement, the Indian Ministry of Defense said that both sides “immediately disengaged from the region” and the leaders of the two countries held a scientific meeting there to discuss the issue “according to organized mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility.”

Singh said the meeting was held on Sunday and the Chinese side was asked to “refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquility” along the border. He added that the issue is also being addressed through diplomatic channels.

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China’s Foreign Ministry did not directly acknowledge the incident in a regularly scheduled news briefing on Tuesday.

“As far as we know, the border area between China and India is generally stable, and the two sides have maintained smooth communication on border-related issues through diplomatic and military channels,” said spokesman Wang Wenbin when asked about India’s statement on the incident. Correspondents to the “competent authorities” for “details”.

He added that China hopes India will be “on the same page” to “jointly maintain peace and stability on the China-India border”.

India and China went to war over their border regions in 1962, eventually creating the Latin American and Caribbean region. But the two countries do not agree on its exact location and both regularly accuse the other of encroaching it or seeking to expand their territories. There have been a series of mostly non-fatal brawls over the border site in the years since, including the most recent previously known instance in 2021According to an Indian Army statement at the time.

In September, the Indian government said that Indian and Chinese forces had Disengagement began From the Gogra-Hosprings border region in the western Himalayas, two years after border clashes strained diplomatic relations.

This statement was made by a Regional summit in Uzbekistan It was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Activities in the area remain closely watched by both sides.

On November 30, China’s foreign ministry criticized the joint high-altitude exercises conducted between US and Indian forces in Uttarakhand in northern India, saying that the exercises “did not help build bilateral trust” and that Beijing had expressed its concerns to New Delhi.

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China’s concerns about India’s relations with the United States have increased in recent years, as Sino-American relations have collapsed and the quadripartite security dialogue, which includes India, the United States, and America’s allies Japan and Australia, has become more active.

Modi and Chinese leader Xi last met at the G20 summit in Bali last month, during which they shook hands but no bilateral meeting took place.

Speaking to Parliament last week before the skirmishes, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said there had been an “anomaly” in China-India relations in recent years due to border concerns, and that New Delhi had been “very clear” with China “diplomatically”. They “will not tolerate attempts at unilateral change” of the Union of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“So “As long as they continue to seek to do this, and if they build forces, which in our minds is a serious concern in the border areas, our relationship is not normal,” Jaishankar said in response to a question about China, adding that the military leaders “continue to deal with each other.” some.”