Yet again we get to encounter fierce clashes, lately, between troops of India and China and not once but twice: Firstly, on the evening of May 5, along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh. Then secondly on May 10, in north Sikkim (Naku La), which adjoins the 3,448-kilometer Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Clashes in Eastern Ladakh
The face-off which started in the late evening of May 5 along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh, ended on May 6 in the morning following dialogue and leaving many soldiers injured on both sides. Sources report that both sides brought additional troops and a total of almost 200 personnel were involved in the face-off. This kind of conflict stood the first time after a parallel incident had taken place around the Pangong Lake in August 2017.
Similar clashes near Naku La Pass in Sikkim
The second incident which took place on May 10 near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector of the Sino-India border, more than 5,000 meters (16,400ft) above sea level in the Himalayas, and involved approximately 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel, out of which, a minimum of 10 ( seven Chinese and 4 Indian troops) suffered injuries. The core issue of the clash was, claims over their (India and China) shared 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) border. Eventually, the dispute was resolved by the local commanders over dialogues.
This sort of face-offs among troops of both sides are often observed during patrolling which includes stone-pelting, chest-bumping, pushing, and shoving. However, there hasn’t been any bullet fired in the last 40 years over the border.
Clashes were downplayed on official platforms
On the other side of the matter, the disputes were downplayed by both countries. Evidently, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian when asked, said “As to the China-India border issue, our position is clear and consistent,” he further added “Our troops there are committed to upholding peace and stability.”
The Indian Army’s statement also soft-pedaled the eruption, professing “such temporary and short duration face-offs were bound to occur between border troops as long as the boundary remained un-demarcated.”