Tensions rise after Chinese, Indian troop clash at disputed Himalayan border

Aug. 17 (UPI) — Tensions continue between Chinese and Indian soldiers following a confrontation this week along a disputed border in the western Himalayas, as a separate two-month standoff continues.

Chinese and Indian soldiers threw stones and caused minor injuries in a border dispute, which both sides accuse one another of starting. Indian officials said Chinese troops attempted to enter Indian territory, while Chinese officials said Indian troops were inside Chinese territory.

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.

The stone-throwing incident occurred near India’s Ladakh region by the shared Pangong lake. Press Trust of India reported Chinese soldiers attempted to enter Indian territory along the banks of the lake, while China’s foreign ministry said “the Indian side must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all personnel and equipment from the Chinese soil.”

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 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.

The military standoff began in early June in an area bordering China and India known as Donglang, but also called 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.

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