Published: 13th December 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: India and China clashed again, many soldiers injured in Tawang. Why and how did it happen?
The Indian Army has released a statement informing about the attack which happened on December 9. We look at the root causes of Indo-China border disputes
The Ministry of Defence, Government of India released a statement of a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang region, which sparked off a debate in the Parliament, leading to an adjournment today, December 13, morning. Now, according to an article by NDTV, India is beefing up security in the border region to thwart future attacks. But why are there such frequent border clashes? Is the geography of the area to blame? Read on to find out.
Why are India-China clashes frequent?
India and China share an approximately 3,440 km border, which is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This is poorly demarcated, as the presence of rivers, snow-capped mountains and lakes make it difficult. The presence of these natural phenomena also means that there is a chance for the LAC to keep shifting. And this leads to the Indian and Chinese army troops coming face to face very often. And tensions lead to clashes sometimes.
What happened in the present clash?
On Friday, December 9, the Indian soldiers and China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) engaged in a minor clash, with troops from both countries left with "minor injuries", as per the Army statement. "Both sides immediately disengaged from the area," the statement adds. It reads further that the commanders from both sides held a meeting immediately afterwards to discuss the issue in “accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity".
What is India's response?
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed both the Houses of Parliament today afternoon and gave a statement acknowledging the clash and said that the Indian troops have given a "befitting reply". Earlier, he had a meeting with all three chiefs of the Indian Armed Forces and Prime Minister Modi to discuss the government's response. Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "No one can capture an inch of our land." However, the Army has kept mum about the number of soldiers injured from each side, giving rise to speculations. And China is yet to respond on the matter.
What is India doing to prepare for future attacks?
The Indian Air Force has launched active combat patrols over Arunachal Pradesh after detecting "enhanced Chinese air activity" as per NDTV. And prior to the December 9 attack, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had stated that India has made it very clear that it “will not tolerate attempts to unilaterally change” the LAC, as per a report by CNN. The report also states that fighter jets had to be scrambled two to three times in recent weeks to thwart China.
How many India-China clashes took place recently?
The last major clash happened in 2020 in the Galwan region, Ladakh. The battle was fought with sticks and clubs, not guns, leaving at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead. In January 2021, a second clash took place at the border region in Sikkim. Then in September 2022, the countries disengaged their troops at a disputed border area in Western Himalayas.