India and China engaged in a face-off in Arunachal Pradesh over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week, sources in the Defence Establishment have informed. The confrontation between the Indian Army and the PLA is said to have lasted a few hours, and no damage has been reported from the incident. The skirmish is said to have occurred due to a difference in perception of the LAC, and has been resolved as per the existing protocols, sources reported.
"There was a face-off in Arunachal Sector last week between soldiers of India and China as there is a difference in perception of Line of Actual Control. The engagement between the two sides lasted for a few hours and was resolved as per the existing protocols. There was no damage caused to own defences in the engagement," ANI quoted sources in defence establishment as saying.
There was a face-off in Arunachal Sector last week between soldiers of India & China as there is a difference in perception of Line of Actual Control: Sources in Defence Establishment (1/2)— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2021
The engagement between the two sides lasted for a few hours & was resolved as per the existing protocols. There was no damage caused to own defences in the engagement: Sources in Defence Establishment (2/2)— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2021
Defence sources further clarified that peace and tranquillity in areas of differing perceptions have been possible by adherence to existing agreements and protocols between the two countries. They added that this was a routine business, whenever patrols meet or wherever there were differing perceptions on LC.
"Both sides undertake patrolling activities up to their line of perception. Whenever patrols of both sides physically meet, the situation is managed according to established protocols and mechanisms agreed by both sides. Physical engagement can last for a few hours prior to disengaging as per mutual understanding. However, there has been no damage to defences," Army sources informed.
During the weekly media briefing on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had informed that China is expected to collaborate to address the unresolved issue along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh as soon as possible. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that they expect China to try and resolve the outstanding issues while adhering to all bilateral agreements and norms. He also shared details of the meeting held between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of SCO in Tajikistan on September 17.
"We counter-deployed our Army in response to China's aggressiveness to protect our security interest. At Tajikistan, we raised the same issue and we hope that China will work on it with us so that the disengagement process in other areas move ahead. In some areas, the disengagement process has been successful while some are left. We hope that China maintains bilateral protocols,: said Bagchi.
As per Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane, de-escalation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has proceeded to the next stage with the 13th round of Army commander-level talks scheduled in the second week of October. The previous round of talks was held in July, seeking disengagement at Gogra Heights and Hot Springs area.