Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9. The clash took place in Yangtse, which is located around about 25 km from Tawang.
Here are five things we know about the clash so far.
One, between 200 and 300 Chinese soldiers were at the site of the stand-off and attempted to dislodge an Indian post.
Initially, only about 50 Indian soldiers were present at the site. However, soon after the Chinese were spotted, Indian backup arrived.
The Indian Army managed to overwhelm the Chinese with troops from the rear reaching the front within 30 minutes.
Two, the Chinese soldiers involved in the clashes were armed with spiked clubs, taser guns and a variety of melee weapons.
The Chinese had managed to surprise India with crude weapons in Galwan. But in Yangtse, Indian soldiers were sufficiently prepared for it. At least one report suggests that the Indian side had its own melee weapons. Indian troops had "everything and more than what the Chinese had".
Three, the clashes led to injuries on both sides. However, multiple reports point out that the Chinese side sustained more injuries.
Around 15 Indian soldiers were injured in the clashes. Some injured Indian soldiers were taken to Guwahati in Assam for treatment.
Four, this was not the first time Indian and Chinese troops clashed in Yangtse. The bone of contention between the Indian and Chinese forces in Yangtse is the 17,000 feet high peak that provides commandeering view of the area on both sides of the LAC. Indian troops are "in firm control to the top and its access routes from own side."
In October 2021, Chinese soldiers transgressed the LAC and damaged unoccupied bunkers on the Indian side. The Indian Army had detained a few Chinese soldiers during the face-off. A transgression by over 200 Chinese soldiers was reported near Yangtse in 2016.
"The location is of such strategic importance that the Indian Army and the PLA each have estimated 3,000-3,500 men on either side of Yangtse area. Unmanned aerial vehicles keep an eye and long-range sensors provide real-time images. Both sides have a network of roads and tracks along the LAC to counter patrol parties," a report from 2021 says.
"Senior government officials explained that such face-offs in Yangtse are a common feature twice a year— ahead of and post winter — since 1999," a report on the face-off that took place on 9 December points out.
Five, the Indian Army, in its statement, said that the Indian and Chinese soldiers disengaged from the area immediately after the clash.
The Army added that the Indian Commander in the area held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart to resolve the issue.
However, the fact that the incident was reported over 60 hours after it occurred suggests that tensions remain high along the LAC.
Also Read: Explained: Why China Wants Tawang
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