A violent clash between soldiers from India and China was reported on Friday along a disputed part of a border over which the two nations have clashed for decades.
Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, addressing lawmakers in Parliament, said Friday’s meeting along the Tawang sector of eastern Arunachal Pradesh state began when Chinese troops “invaded Indian territory” and “have unilaterally attempted to change the status quo” along the disputed border near the Yangtze River area.
Singh said no Indian soldiers were seriously injured and troops from both sides withdrew from the area soon after. A statement from the Indian army on Monday said troops on both sides suffered minor injuries.
Singh said local military commanders met on Sunday to discuss the dispute and the Indian government had been talking to China through diplomatic channels.
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Colonel Long Shaohua, the People’s Liberation Army’s western theater spokesman in charge of the area, said Chinese border guards staged “a routine patrol on the Chinese side of the Line of Effective Control” but were “blocked by the army illegally crossing the line.”
Indian journalist Shiv Aroor posted on Chirping that stones and fists flew during the altercation between the two sides that left nine Indian and 22 Chinese soldiers injured with fractures, black eyes and bruises.
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For decades, India and China have fiercely contested the line of effective control, a demarcation that separates Chinese and Indian territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. India and China fought a war across the border in 1962.
In recent years, soldiers from both sides have patrolled areas along the disputed border. Opposing soldiers frequently come into contact, and the two Asian giants have accused each other of sending troops into each other’s territory.
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The two sides engaged in a deadly skirmish in June 2020 in the Karakorum mountains, where soldiers fought with stones, fists and clubs in an incident that left at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers dead.
Associated Press contributed to this report