India-China Clash in Sikkim

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News Desk

In January 2021, there were incidents of Indian and Chinese troops clash at Naku La in north Sikkim border area. Indian Army officials have confirmed there were casualties on both sides. This comes amid the ongoing border stand-off in Eastern Ladakh. Naku La a pass more than 5,000 m high from the sea level. It is located ahead Cho Lhamu (source of River Teesta).

India and China share the longest disputed border in the world, and the two sides both claim large areas of territory from the other. In 1951, the People’s Republic of China signed the 17 Point Agreement with Tibet, confirming China’s sovereignty over Tibet. Since then, China claims territories from India, that belonged to the erstwhile Tibetan kingdoms at different points in history.In 1962, India and China went to war over the border disputes, with China is occupying Indian territory since then.

The Kingdom of Sikkim became a British protectorate in 1890, following the Convention of Calcutta between UK and the Chinese Qing monarchy. Sikkim was a protectorate of India from 1950 to 1975. After becoming an Indian state in 1975, China had not recognized India’s sovereignty over Sikkim, for decades. In 2017, troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction area. It even triggered fears of a nuclear war between the two neighbors. Multiple rounds of talks have failed to yield any significant result in defusing border tensions.

The two countries have been engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since April-May 2020. In April, China began amassing troops near the LAC in Ladakh Union territory. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a skirmish in the Ladakh region in June, 2020. On August 29-30, 2020, India occupied heights along the northern and southern bank of the Pangong Lake. This gave India dominating positions overlooking the Chinese military deployed in that area. The Chinese have been asking India to withdraw troops and tanks first from the southern bank. India has been asking for disengagement from all the friction points.

On 24th January, 2021, the ninth round of Corps Commander Level talks between India and China started. The meeting lasted for more than 15 hours at Moldo opposite Chushul in the Eastern Ladakh sector to address the ongoing military standoff.

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