Indian troops prevented their Chinese counterparts from entering Indian territory on Dec 9 during a border scuffle that led to injuries on both sides, Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on Tuesday, as Beijing assured the situation was “stable” in the border region and called on New Delhi to “together uphold peace”.
The statements come after a clash between the two sides in the Tawang sector of India’s northeastern Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China’s south and is also claimed by Beijing.
Indian troops suffered no fatality or serious injuries in the incident, Singh said.
“PLA troops attempted to unilaterally change the status quo by encroaching on the Line of Actual Control, in the Yangtse area of Tawang sector,” Singh said, referring to the People’s Liberation Army.
“Our army faced this attempt of China with firmness. A scuffle ensued in this face-off. The Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from encroaching on our territory, and forced them to withdraw to their posts. Some soldiers from both sides were injured in the skirmish.”
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that he believed the situation was now calm but gave no details of what happened or whether Chinese troops were injured.
“As far as we understand, the China-India border situation is stable overall,” Wang said, adding the two sides “maintained unobstructed dialogue on the border issue through diplomatic and military channels.”
He added: “It is hoped that the Indian side will advance in the same direction as China, earnestly implement the important consensus reached by both leaders, strictly abide by the spirit of the agreements and accords signed by both sides, [and] together uphold the peace and tranquility of the China-India border region.”
The fight was the first between the two countries since deadly clashes in June 2020 when Indian and Chinese troops were involved in hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, abutting the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau.
The incident led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops.