Sikkim: Chinese and Indian troops ‘in new border clash’

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Chinese and Indian troops have reportedly clashed again in a disputed border area, with injuries on both sides, Indian media say.

The incident took place in north Sikkim last Wednesday. India’s army said there had been a “minor” incident that had been “resolved”.

Tensions are high along the world’s longest disputed border. Both sides claim large areas of territory.

At least 20 Indian soldiers died in a skirmish in the Ladakh area last June.

What happened in the latest incident?

It happened at Naku La in north Sikkim, the media reports said. Sikkim is an Indian state sandwiched between Bhutan and Nepal, about 2,500km (1,500 miles) east of the Ladakh area.

A Chinese patrol tried to enter Indian territory and was forced back, the officials said. Some reports said sticks and stones were used, but there were no gunshots.

An Indian army statement played down the incident, saying there “was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols”.

One source told the Times of India that both sides brought in reinforcements after a “brawl” but there was no gunfire and the situation was under control.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not give details of the incident, but said China’s troops were “committed to upholding peace” and urged India to “refrain from actions that might escalate or complicate the situation along the border”.

The editor-in-chief of China’s state-affiliated Global Times tweeted there was “no record of this clash in the patrol log of the Chinese side”.

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