India, China border troops clash

SRINAGAR, INDIA: Indian and Chinese troops clashed briefly in a disputed area in the Himalayas, officials said yesterday, exacerbating tensions during a stand-off between the two armies.

Chinese troops threw stones at Indian soldiers near Pangong Lake, a major tourist attraction in the picturesque mountain region of Ladakh on Tuesday, an Indian defence official said. He said Chinese soldiers had twice tried to enter the Indian territory, but had been pushed back.

"There was a minor incident. There was some stone pelting from the Chinese side, but the situation was quickly brought under control," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The brief confrontation was resolved after the Indian and Chinese sides retreated to their respective positions, he added.

The latest incident comes amid an ongoing dispute between the two sides over a strategic Himalayan plateau thousands of kilometres east where hundreds of Indian and Chinese soldiers have been facing off against each other for more than two months.

The border trouble began in June when Chinese soldiers started to extend a road through Doklam - known as Donglang in Chinese. The area is disputed between China and Bhutan.

India, a close ally of Bhutan, deployed troops to stop the construction project, prompting Beijing to accuse India of trespassing on Chinese soil.

China has said India must withdraw its troops before any negotiations can take place.

India said both sides should withdraw their forces together. - AFP