International

UN Chief Antonio Guterres Calls For De-escalation In Tensions Along India-China Border

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for the de-escalation in tensions along the India-China border, days after troops of the two countries clashed in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, resulting in minor injuries to some soldiers on both sides.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament on Tuesday that Chinese troops tried to "unilaterally" change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector on December 9, but the Indian Army compelled them to retreat by its "firm and resolute" response.  

When Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson to the UN Secretary-General was asked to comment on this issue, he said: “Yeah, we've seen these reports. We call for de-escalation and to ensure that the tensions along in that area do not grow.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin addressing a media briefing in Beijing on Tuesday said the two sides have maintained smooth communication on boundary-related issues through diplomatic and military channels.  

It is the first major clash between the Indian and Chinese armies since the fierce face-off in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.  

This is also the first major incident at the border after Chinese President Xi Jinping was re-elected for an unprecedented third five-year term at the once-in-a-five-year Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).  

The Friday clash took place even as both countries held 16 rounds of talks between their commanders to resolve the standoffs at various points since the eastern Ladakh border standoff which erupted in May 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.  

The last round of talks was held in September during which both sides agreed to disengage their troops at Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area.  

India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the LAC are important for the overall development of bilateral ties.

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