Chinese, Indian Troops Engage in 150-Strong Border Brawl With Fistfights and Stone Throwing, Delhi Says

The Indian army has said that its troops engaged in a mass brawl with Chinese soldiers at a remote mountainous border output, resulting in multiple minor injuries.

The fight—involving some 150 people, according to the Press Trust of India—broke out at a border post in a strategically important mountain pass near Tibet on Saturday, AFP reported.

The two nations share a contested border around 2,520 miles long, which winds through some of the most inhospitable terrain on Earth and is a point of regular dispute. In 1962, the two nations fought a war over the border disagreement.

Saturday's confrontation took place in the Naku La sector of the border, close to the Nathu La crossing in the northeastern state of Sikkim, which sits at an altitude of some 15,000 feet.

Indian army eastern command spokesperson Mandeep Hooda said: "Aggressive behaviour by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. It was stone-throwing and arguments that ended in a fistfight."

Hooda added that the dispute was later resolved via local "dialogue and interaction."

"Temporary and short-duration face-offs between border-guarding troops do occur as boundaries are not resolved," Hooda explained.

Clashes and standoffs are not uncommon along the Sino-Indian border. In 2017, footage emerged of a brawl near the northwestern Indian region of Ladakh in which Indian and Chinese soldiers were seen throwing punches and rocks at each other.

China claims control of some 35,000 square miles of Indian territory along the largely mountainous border. Beijing has embarked on an extensive infrastructure build up along the frontier, expanding road networks to better supply the remote border areas. India, long lagging behind on such projects, has recently accelerated its own frontier infrastructure plans to catch up.

In 2017, Indian troops moved to block the construction of a Chinese road in the Doklam area claimed by both China and Bhutan, close to the Indian border. For two months, armed forces from both maintained positions near the road building site before eventually withdrawing to defuse the situation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping have since sought to ease border tensions through bilateral talks held in 2018 and 2019.

At their last meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in Brazil, the two leaders agreed to "have another meeting on matters relating to the boundary question and reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and security along the border areas."

China, India, soldiers, brawl, border, dispute, fight
This file photo shows soldiers from the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army after participating in an anti-terror drill near Pune, India on November 25, 2016. INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty