Three soldiers from the Indian Army have been killed in a clash with Chinese military forces in Ladakh in the disputed Kashmir region that borders both countries
The Indian Army has said that senior military officials from both sides of the conflict were “meeting to defuse the situation”, they added that forces from both sides of the incident suffered casualties.
China did not confirm any casualties from their side of the conflict, but they did accuse the Indian Army of crossing the border in the Galwan Valley.
A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry has called on India to not to take unilateral actions or stir up trouble.
This comes after the releasing of important coronavirus information during the early days of the outbreak was delayed by China, according to leaked World Health Organisation documents and recordings from their meetings.
The spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, was quoted as saying that the Indian army had crossed over the border on two occasions on Monday, “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides”.
China’s newspaper Global Times reported that “solemn representations” had been made with India over the incident.
The clash between the two nations’ forces comes after rising tensions between the two nuclear powers, which have previously engaged in unarmed brawls along the border in recent weeks but had not exchanged any gunfire.
Both sides insist that no gunfire has been exchanged in four decades, with the Indian army insisting again on Tuesday that “no shots were fired” in the recent incident between the two nations. Local media outlets in the country reported that the Indian soldiers had been “beaten to death” by Chinese forces, but there has been no confirmation from military officials.
This comes after China has warned the UK to “step back from the brink” after the Prime Minister has threatened to offer millions of Hong Kong residents the right to move to Britain if China strips away their freedoms.
India has accused the Chinese government of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh’s Galwan valley and they say that China occupies 38,000 sq km of its territory. Several discussions between the two nations over the last thirty years have failed to resolve the border disputes.
The fatalities reported on Tuesday are believed to be the first in decades of confrontation between the two global superpowers. The two nations have fought each other in only one war so far, in 1962, in Which India suffered a defeat to communist China.
In May, many Indian and Chinese soldiers engaged in unarmed combat in a clash on the border in the north-eastern state of Sikkim. In 2017, the two nations fought again in the region after China tried to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.
India disputes part of Kashmir, which is an ethnically diverse Himalayan region, that covers around 86,000 sq miles (138 sq km), with Pakistan.
The last time India and China engage in any gunfire along their borders was in 1975, when four soldiers from the Indian Army were killed by Chinese forces in a remote pass within the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east.