Aug. 17 (UPI) — A standoff that’s lasted for more than two months escalated Wednesday when Chinese and Indian troops briefly clashed along a disputed border in the Himalayas — a conflict that led Beijing’s official news agency to release a controversial video on social media.
The soldiers threw stones at each other and caused minor injuries along the disputed border. The incident occurred near India’s Ladakh region by the shared Pangong Lake.
Indian officials said China’s troops attempted to enter their territory, while Beijing officials said Indian troops had entered Chinese territory.
The incident in the Himalayas occurred as China and India are engaged in a military standoff related to a border dispute in the Indian state of Sikkim.
India’s foreign ministry said “there is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control in the border areas between India and China” — suggesting there is no established border one side can breach, but rather an overall disputed area.
China’s foreign ministry said “the Indian side must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all personnel and equipment from the Chinese soil.”
The Press Trust of India reported that officials of the Chinese and Indian armies met to discuss ensuring peace along the border.
An Indian official told BBC News that he could neither confirm nor deny reports of the incident, but said “such incidents do happen” — adding that “this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened.”
The military standoff began in early June in an area bordering China and India known as the Doklam plateau. China accuses India of violating a 1890 border agreement between China and Britain — which then controlled India — by having troops in the disputed area.
India accuses China, in part, of escalating the conflict as retribution for the Dalai Lama‘s visit to India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in April.
Amid the border tensions, China’s official Xinhua media agency on Wednesday released a propaganda video about the standoff titled, “7 Sins of India” — in which a Chinese actor wears a turban, sunglasses and a fake beard while mockingly speaking in an Indian accent.
The video has been criticized by some as racially insensitive.