Indian and Chinese troops got into a face-off in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, their first face-off reported in the eastern sector since the Ladakh standoff began in May 2020, leading to “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides”, according to a source in the Indian Army.
On December 9, the source within the army declared, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops “contacted the LAC in Tawang sector, which was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner”.
This face-off “caused minor injuries to some people on both sides”, said the source, adding that “both sides immediately disengaged from the area”.
“As a follow-up of the incident, our Commander in the area held a Flag Meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquility,” the source said.
According to sources, the “brawl” broke out between the personnel of the two armies in the Yangtze area of east Tawang. They said the clash would be “more than pushing and shoving,” although it was unclear if there were any serious injuries on either side.
A similar transgression took place in June 2016, when nearly 250 PLA soldiers had transgressed in the region. No clashes were reported then.
Sources reported that the Indian military is in a dominant position in the Yangtze region, which has mountain ranges. The Chinese side is largely under observation by Indian soldiers and Chinese movements upward from the hills are widely visible from Indian positions.
The source In the Army said there are “areas of differing perception, wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines” in “certain areas along the LAC in the Tawang sector”.
“This has been the trend since 2006,” the source added.
The last violent clash occurred in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh in June 2020, when 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed.
In September of that year, Indian and Chinese troops withdrew to Patrolling Pillar (15) in the Gogra-Hotspring region in eastern Ladakh.
Forces of the two countries have been locked in a confrontational position in the area since April 2020.
With disengagement at PP15, forces of the two countries have disengaged at all friction points in the region, which included the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso, PP14, PP15, and PP17A.
However, other contentious issues related to the boundary still remain between the two countries. Chinese forces have still blocked access to traditional patrolling areas of Indian forces on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Depsang Plains and Charding Nala regions.
The last disengagement between the forces of the two countries occurred at PP17A last August.