İrem UZUN -TDO- Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a “minor face-off” last week in a disputed stretch of their shared border in the eastern Himalayas, the Indian army said, underlining the fraught situation at the border.  China on Monday said the two sides must refrain from escalatory actions.

Incident happened at Naku La in north Sikkim, the media reports said. Sikkim is an Indian state between Bhutan and Nepal, about 2,500km east of the Ladakh area. A Chinese patrol tried to enter Indian territory and was forced back, the officials said. Some reports said sticks and stones were used, but there were no gunshots. An Indian army statement played down the incident, saying there "was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing in Beijing on Monday he had “no information to offer” on the reports of clashes. “I would like to stress, though, that China’s border troops are committed to upholding peace and tranquillity along the border with India,” Zhao said. The Indian and Chinese armies on Sunday held another round of Corps Commander-level talks. Spokesperson Zhao confirmed that a new round of military talks between China and India and the two sides will release the relevant information as soon as possible.  

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