What Led To India and China's Clash at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh?

The army has said that both sides disengaged from the area immediately.

What We Know
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On 9 December, Friday, Indian troops clashed with Chinese forces in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian army said. According to sources, at least six Indian troops were injured in the scuffle, and taken to the military hospital in nearby Guwahati.

This is important, because this is the first major incident near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the border between India and China, in over two years.

The last time India and China clashed was in 2020, during the Galwan faceoff, which left 20 Indian troops dead.

According to India: Speaking in Parliament on 13 December, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that around 300 to 400 troops of the Chinese People's Liberation Army crossed the LAC at the border near Yangtse River in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh and entered Indian territory.


In response, Indian troops responded "in a firm and resolute manner," the defence minister added, and this led to a physical scuffle between the two forces.

Indian forces stopped the Chinese troops from entering Indian territory and the situation was quickly de-escalated soon after, the Indian army said.

Both sides have since disengaged from the area.

"Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. Our commander in the area immediately held a red flag meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms," the Indian army said.

The big picture: The incident comes in the midst of over 15 rounds of talks between Indian and Chinese commanders to de-escalate and keep the border peaceful.

India and China established talks following the 2020 Galwan faceoff which left 20 Indian troops and 35-40 Chinese troops dead.

Cross-border intrusions by Chinese troops along the LAC have been the flashpoint for many standoffs between the two neighbours.

However, India and China have also inked at least 3 treaties to maintain peace at the border, following the 1986-87 Sumdorong Chu standoff.

At present, the situation has been diffused, the Indian army has said. You can read more about India and China's past skirmishes and border standoffs here.

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