India and china conflict – According to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on December 9, Chinese forces crossed the Line of Actual Control in the Yangtse region of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh, attempting to unilaterally change the status quo.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament on Tuesday (December 13) that the Indian Army has rejected China’s effort to change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, pushing back People’s Liberation Army forces involved in the incursion attempt. According to him, both Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in the encounter. So far, here’s what we know.
What happened in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, during the India-China conflict? India and china conflict
According to the Defence Minister, on December 9, PLA soldiers crossed the LAC in the Yangtse region of Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh and sought to change the status quo unilaterally.
This effort by China was met with “firmness” by Indian troops, and a skirmish ensued. “Our Army stopped the PLA invasion and made them to return to their station with amazing bravery,” the Defence Minister remarked.
He stated that while several soldiers on both sides were injured during the battle, no Indian soldier was killed or critically injured. Following that, on December 11, the local commander of the Army met with his Chinese counterpart and requested the Chinese side to keep the border peaceful. The issue has also been discussed with the Chinese side at the diplomatic level, according to Rajnath Singh.
What exactly was the origin of the “conflict” on the LAC?
According to sources, the troops on both sides beat each other with clubs and canes. According to accounts, the Indian troops who were hurt in the incident are being treated in a hospital in Guwahati. This was India’s closest interaction with the PLA since the tragic Galwan incident in eastern Ladakh in June 2020.
The Army reported in a statement on December 12 that the “fighting resulted in minor casualties to a few individuals from both sides.” According to the Army, “both sides quickly disengaged from the area.”
Where did the India-China conflict take place, and how did it start?
The conflict occurred around 3 a.m. on December 9 at a nullah along the LAC in the Tawang heights near Yangtse in Eastern Tawang. According to military sources, this section of the LAC is one of the “accepted contested zones” between the two sides.
On either side of the nullah, Indian and Chinese forces are stationed, however on this night, 300 Chinese troops crossed into India.
There were no warning signals of the infraction, and upon hearing the attack on the sentries, some 70 to 80 Indian forces mobilised rapidly in the dead of night to beat back the invaders. According to accounts, there was fierce hand-to-hand battle with sticks and canes for several hours.
What caused the Chinese troops to cross to the Indian side?
According to a military source, “there are regions of divergent perception along the LAC in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh, where both sides monitor the area up to respective claim lines.” Since 2006, this has been the pattern.”
A similar breach occurred in June 2016, when around 250 PLA soldiers entered the region, although no conflicts were recorded. According to a military official who has served in the region, it is impossible to foresee when the PLA will carry out such operations since “the Chinese continuously control the escalatory ladder in that area” and do so “at their discretion.”
According to a high government source, the PLA “pre-planned” the infraction for a “opportune” period this time. The fight takes place in thickly wooded terrain, with Chinese forces establishing “top of the wall” positions with extensive supply lines and infrastructure.
According to the source, this was also the moment for some Indian forces to retreat from their posts due to snowfall in the region, providing the Chinese side a tactical advantage. A dense cloud cover also made it difficult for Indian satellites to detect any military buildup.
Is the border violence part of a wider picture?
The incident occurred only days after China objected to Operation Yudhabhyas, an India-US joint military exercise in Auli in the Uttarakhand highlands, claiming it violated boundary accords signed in 1993 and 1996.
The ongoing military tensions along the 3,000-kilometer-long LAC come as New Delhi begins a series of activities as part of its chairmanship of the G20, a grouping of the world’s major countries that includes China.
At the G20 conference in Bali in November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping exchanged courtesies but did not engage any real talks or discussions.
Moreover, what is going on in Ladakh near the LAC?
Just three months ago, in September, Indian and Chinese soldiers withdrew in the Gogra Hotspring region of Eastern Ladakh, the final of 16 rounds of military commander level negotiations that began in May 2020, following Chinese incursions at multiple places in the area.
The Galwan tragedy, which killed 20 Indian soldiers, occurred after the two sides negotiated withdrawal in the region.
Tensions in Ladakh remain high due to the presence of Chinese troops in Depsang, invasions in Demchok, and the Chinese’s quick infrastructure construction, including two bridges over Pangong Lake that will shorten Chinese mobilisation time on the southern side.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently stated that “until there is peace and serenity in the border areas… unless there is observance of agreements and no unilateral attempt to change the status quo… the situation cannot be, and is not, normal.”
The Tawang incident has raised the level of alertness among troops in the area.
There is a history between India and China conflict.
Much of the 1962 India-China conflict took place in Arunachal Pradesh. The Yangtze River basin is one of three areas along the border claimed by both countries.
Tensions along the nations’ disputed border have remained high since the June 2020 encounter, the deadliest in more than 40 years, which killed at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers. The battle was focused in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, near the disputed 3,488-kilometer Line of Actual Control.