Chinese helicopters spotted along Sino-India border in Eastern Ladakh: Sources
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Chinese helicopters spotted along Sino-India border in Eastern Ladakh: Sources

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

Chinese helicopters were spotted flying close to theundemarcated border between India and China in Eastern Ladakh after around 250soldiers of both sides were engaged in a fierce face-off near Pangong Lake inthe area last week, official sources said.

The situation in the area remained tensed after the violentclashes between the troops on Tuesday evening, they said. Next day, both sidesagreed to end the face-off at a meeting of local commanders.

The Chinese military helicopters were seen flying close tothe Line of Actual Control on at least a couple of occasions following theclashes after which a fleet of Su-30 fighters of the Indian Air Force toocarried out sorties in the area, the sources said.

There was no official word on whether the Su-30 jets wererushed in to carry out the sorties in the wake of the face-off and aggressiveChinese posturing in the area.

Following the fracas, both sides brought in additionaltroops.

The sources said Chinese military helicopters routinelycarry out sorties on the Chinese side of the border while Indian Armyhelicopters also fly in the area.

In the face-off on May 5, scores of Indian and Chinese armypersonnel clashed along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake and even resortedto stone-pelting.

A number of soldiers on both the sides sustained injuries.

It was the first case of troops from the two sidesexchanging blows after a similar incident around the Pangong Lake in August2017.

In a separate incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinesemilitary personnel were engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkimsector of the Sino-India border on Saturday. At least 10 soldiers from both thesides sustained injuries in the incident.

The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-daystand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 which even triggered fears of a warbetween the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Lineof Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibetwhile India contests it.

Both sides have been asserting that pending the finalresolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace andtranquility in border areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President XiJinping held their first informal summit in April 2018 in the Chinese city ofWuhan, months after the Doklam standoff.

In the summit, the two leaders decided to issue"strategic guidance" to their militaries to strengthen communicationsso that they can build trust and understanding.

Modi and Xi held their second informal summit inMamallapuram near Chennai in October last year with a focus on furtherbroadening the bilateral ties.

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