Indian and Chinese soldiers engage in ‘aggressive’ cross-border skirmish

Indian and Chinese soldiers engage in 'aggressive' cross-border skirmish
China and India have frequently clashed over their shared border in the past. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: A spokesman for the Indian Ministry of Defense has confirmed on Saturday that an “aggressive” cross-border skirmish between Chinese and Indian forces Saturday resulted in minor injuries to troops.

The incident occurred at a remote, mountainous crossing close to Tibet. This is the latest in a long line of border flare-ups between the two neighboring powers.

The spokesman said: “Aggressive behavior by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops.”

The spokesman added: “The two sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at a local level. Troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols.”

According to News18, seven Chinese and four Indian soldiers were reported to have been injured in the incident, which took place during a patrol in Nuka La, North Sikkim, more than 16,400ft above sea level in the Himalayas.

“Temporary and short” face-offs between troops from both countries are a regular occurrence due to the fact that “boundaries are not resolved”, Indian defence ministry spokesman said.

China has not officially commented on the subject. The two countries share one of the world’s longest land boarders. In 1962, India and China engaged in a bloody Himalayan border war and skirmishes have continued to break out sporadically in the decades since.

The two sides engaged in a months-long territorial standoff in 2017 on the disputed Doklam plateau, on the unmarked border between China and Bhutan. It erupted when India opposed China’s attempt to extend a border road through a plateau known as Doklam in India and Donglang in China.

The plateau, which lies at a junction between the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim, China and Bhutan, is currently disputed between Beijing and Thimphu. India supports Bhutan’s claim over it.

The area is close to the “chicken’s neck,” a strategic corridor that serves as a vital artery between Delhi and its far northeastern states, though not a part of Indian territory.

The two governments eventually agreed to back down in August 2017 after months of rising tensions and live-fire drills. In 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to work together to avoid further border disputes.

But tensions continue despite the agreement. Indian media reported that as recently as September 2019, Indian and Chinese troops became involved in a “scuffle” on the border near Pangong Lake in the Himalayas.

Sometimes stand-offs involve pushing and shoving, throwing stones at each other and chest-bumping.