Indian and Chinese troops clash along disputed Himalayan border

An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway in September 2020. Credit: AP

Indian and Chinese troops clashed last week along the countries’ disputed border, Indian officials said on Monday, leaving dozens injured.

The clash in the Naku La area of Sikkim on January 20 came just four days before the countries held a ninth round of talks on Sunday - lasting nearly 16 hours - on ending tensions in another disputed border area in the remote Ladakh region.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not comment on the incident, but urged India to exercise restraint. 

He said: "Our border troops committed to maintaining peace in China-Indian border region.

"China urges India to meet China halfway and refrain from any unilateral actions that may exacerbate border situation."

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Credit: AP

The Indian Army downplayed local media reports that said four Indian soldiers and 20 Chinese PLA troops were injured.

It said in a statement: "It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Nakula area of North Sikkim on 20 January and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols."

India and China have got more than 100,000 troops deployed in eastern Ladakh as both sides have been holding their ground even in sub-zero temperatures.

Meanwhile, continuing diplomatic and military talks to find an amicable solution over the contested border has so far not yielded any outcome. 

China and India, two nuclear armed neighbours which fought a border war in 1962, have been in a standoff since April in the western Himalayas and have bolstered forces all along the 3,800km (2,350mile) border.