‘Not aware’: China on reports of its soldiers’ detention in Arunachal Pradesh

According to Indian officials aware of the developments, the standoff took place in the Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh last week. Sources told Indian media that patrol parties of both the countries came face-to-face, leading to a minor altercation before they disengaged.
A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, in this file photo. (REUTERS)
A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, in this file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 08, 2021 05:39 PM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Friday said he wasn’t aware of “relevant information” after reports in Indian media said Chinese soldiers had been detained following an altercation with Indian troops in Arunachal Pradesh last week.

According to Indian officials aware of the developments, the standoff took place in the Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh last week.

Sources told Indian media that patrol parties of both the countries came face-to-face near Tawang, leading to a minor altercation before they disengaged.

“I am not aware of relevant information,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said at the regular briefing when asked to comment about the incident.

Indian officials told the Hindustan Times in New Delhi, the altercation took place due to differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border dividing the two countries.

“The India-China border has not been formally demarcated and hence there is a difference in perception of LAC between the countries. Peace and tranquility in these areas of differing perceptions has been possible by adherence to existing agreements and protocols between the two countries,” an official told the Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet opposing New Delhi’s consistent stand that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India.

India and China are locked in an ongoing 17-month long military standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, which has plunged Sino-India bilateral ties to the worst chill in decades.

Several rounds of diplomatic and military dialogues have failed to resolve the dragging impasse between the two militaries.

The latest incident comes days ahead of the next round of military talks with the PLA, which is scheduled to take place on October 12, as per reports from New Delhi.

Speaking at a virtual India-China track-II dialogue in September, India’s ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, had urged China to separate the ongoing border tension in eastern Ladakh from the larger boundary dispute, saying the primary concern now is to restore peace and tranquility along the LAC and not resolving the decades-long boundary disagreement.

Misri said day-to-day affairs along the disputed border should be addressed through existing established agreements and protocols, which are not to be confused with the long-term mechanisms in place for the final resolution.

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Friday, January 28, 2022