India-China Scuffle at Ladakh Border Ahead of Modi-Xi Summit
Image for representational purposes.
Image for representational purposes.(Photo: Reuters)

India-China Scuffle at Ladakh Border Ahead of Modi-Xi Summit

A scuffle broke out between India and Chinese soldiers on the bank of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh on Wednesday, 11 September, but the matter has been resolved through talks, military sources told PTI.

The incident took place after Indian soldiers patrolling the area did not heed to objection to their presence in the area by Chinese troops, the sources said on Thursday.

This incident comes a month ahead of the India-China informal summit.

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WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE FACE-OFF

The scuffle occurred at the northern bank of the Pangong Tso, a 134 km long lake, two-thirds of which is controlled by China.

An Indian patrol party, comprising nearly 12 soldiers, was stopped by Chinese troops, who objected to their presence in the area.

Both sides then called in support, escalating tensions further, Indian Army sources told The Print. The confrontation reportedly continued late into the evening.

To defuse the situation and prevent serious consequences, the Army invoked the established bilateral mechanism for defusing such situations.

“Delegation level talks were held at the Brigadier level yesterday. The situation has been de-escalated and soldiers have completely disengaged from both sides,”
A senior Army officer, talking to The Print.

The officer added that the incident had occurred “due to differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).”

BACKDROP OF THE INDIA-CHINA SUMMIT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second India-China informal summit on 10 to 12 October near Chennai.

Incidentally, the first informal summit was held after the Doklam stand-off between the PLA and the Indian troops in 2017.

The Indian Army will also hold the Him Vijay exercise in Arunanchal Pradesh, close to the Modi-Xi summit. China has reportedly not been informed of this.

The military exercise, aimed to test and enhance mountain warfare readiness, will witness about 15,000 troops in three Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs). The Indian Air Force will deploy aircraft for supply purposes, reports The Times of India.

A SIMILAR INCIDENT IN THE PAST

The north bank of the Pangong Tso had witnessed a similar confrontation on 15 August 2017, after soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side and were thwarted by Indian forces.

The incident had escalated after the Chinese troops attacked with stones and iron rods, prompting Indian soldiers to retaliate.

This confrontation had coincided with the much more high-stakes standoff at Doklam.

(With inputs from ANI, The Print and The Times of India.)

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