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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/26/21

Amid Ladakh standoff: Chinese, Indian troops in fresh skirmish on eastern border

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Indian and Chinese troops clashed last week in an incident that caused minor injuries on both sides, Indian officials said Monday, underscoring the persistent border tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors Washington Post has reported.

The latest incident took place hundreds of miles from that standoff at a different section of the frontier in the eastern border in Ladakh.

Washington Post, quoted an Indian Army statement as saying Indian and Chinese soldiers engaged in a "minor faceoff" on Jan. 20 in the Naku La area of the state of Sikkim,. The situation was "resolved by local commanders as per established protocols."

Minor injuries were suffered on both sides, said an Indian official with knowledge of the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter. A second Indian official characterized the clash as "hand-to-hand combat."

India and China share an unofficial frontier that stretches 2,200 miles. Last June, the two countries engaged in their deadliest conflict in more than five decades, a high-altitude brawl in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed along with an unknown number of Chinese casualties.

Since then, tens of thousands of Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a stalemate near the site of the clash in Ladakh. Soldiers are enduring brutal winter temperatures high in the mountains as talks have failed to deescalate the situation.

Indian media reports suggested that more than 20 Chinese and Indian soldiers were injured in the scuffle. The Indian Army statement did not mention injuries and asked the media to refrain from "exaggerating or overplaying" their reporting.

Latest China-India border clash fake news

Indian media reports on Monday claiming Chinese and Indian troops engaged in a clash three days ago that resulted in injuries on both sides are fake, the Global Times learned from a source on Monday.

There is no record of this incident in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) front line patrol logs, the Global Times learned.

Indian military also later made the clarification. "We have received several queries regarding a face-off between Indian Army and PLA troops in Sikkim sector. It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Nakula area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols. Media is requested to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect", the Indian Army's statement reads.

Indian media outlets are releasing unsubstantiated information to their benefit, however, those information is basically fake news, the Global Times learned.

Saurav Jha, a defense analyst in Delhi, said: "Tensions are quite high," said Jha. "When you have large forces in close proximity and there is no resolution after rounds and rounds of talks, then the probability of something happening cannot be considered insignificant."

Military talks agree to push for early disengagement

China and India on Sunday held the ninth round of the Corps Commander Level Meeting, in which both sides agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops and continue to stabilize and control the border situation, China's defense ministry announced on Monday.

Despite the positivity shown by the meeting, with no significant breakthroughs achieved, Chinese experts expect continued, prolonged negotiations heading into spring, when warm weather could again promote military activities, and the face-off will likely continue.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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