SIKKIM: According to the official sources, the troops of India and China got involved in a fierce face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector of the Sino-India border on sunday. The soldiers were injured on both sides as they exchanged punches, which stopped only after a dialogue at the local level.
A similar incident had taken place in Pangong Lake in Ladakh in August 2017. It was the first case of troops from both sides exchanging blows since then. A total of 150 soldiers are reported to have been involved in the face-off on Saturday.
“Troops resolve such issues mutually as per established protocols. Such an incident occurred after a long time,” said an official source.
The sources said that temporary and short duration face-offs occur due to differing perception of the border by both sides.
The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017, which triggered fears of a war between the two neighbours.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. The de-facto border between the two countries, a 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control, covers the Indo-China border dispute.
Both sides have been asserting that it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas till the final resolution of the boundary issue is reached.
In April 2018, an informal summit was held between the two nations when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the issue in the city of Wuhan, months after the Doklam standoff. A decision to issue “strategic guidance” to their militaries to strengthen communications so that they can build trust and understanding was taken by both the leaders.
With a focus on further broadening bilateral ties,the second informal summit was held in Mamallapuram near Chennai in October last year.