Indian, Chinese troops in border face-off: report

Updated 12 May 2020

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Troops disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” an Indian daily quoted army sources as saying.  — AFP/File
Troops disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” an Indian daily quoted army sources as saying. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: Troops of India and China were involved in a face-off at Naku La in North Sikkim which resulted in injuries to several soldiers on both sides, The Hindu said on Sunday, quoting Indian army sources. It said the incident occurred on Saturday.

“Incident of face-off took place between the troops and, as a result of aggressive behaviour, minor injuries took place on both the sides. Troops disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” the report quoted army sources as saying.

Temporary and brief face-offs occur as boundaries are not resolved, sources said and troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols, the paper said. “Such an incident occurred after a long time,” sources added.

Both countries have differing perceptions on the unresolved boundary which leads to transgressions and face-offs as each side patrols up to its respective claims.

Any such incidents are resolved through existing mechanisms put in place to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border, according to the paper.

It said in September 2019, a scuffle broke out between the patrol teams of both sides near Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh where China holds a major part of the lake. It was resolved in a few hours after a delegation-level meeting at the Border Personnel Meeting point in Chushul.

Similarly, in August 2017 a video surfaced of a scuffle between the two armies at the lake in which several hundred soldiers were seen hurling stones at each other.

In January 2020, Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane spoke of rebalancing advanced weaponry in the northern borders.

He had also sta­ted that after the Wuhan summit bet­ween Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2018, differences on the border were being settled at the lowest level and “after the strategic guidelines, small differences are sorted locally and not allowed to escalate”.

The Wuhan summit cleared the impasse that set into the relationship following the 73-day stand-off at Doklam in 2017, The Hindu said.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2020