The Chinese military on Tuesday claimed that Indian troops illegally crossed a disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9, leading to clashes between the two neighbours, AFP reported.

A People’s Liberation Army Western Theatre Command spokesperson said that Chinese troops were obstructed by Indian soldiers. “Our response measures were professional, standard and forceful, and stabilised the situation on the ground,” the spokesperson added. “At present, China and India have disengaged.”

Last week’s confrontation took place in the mountainous Yangtzee region of eastern Tawang, where Indian forces are in a dominant position.

The spokesperson’s comments on Tuesday came hours after India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accused China of trying to “unilaterally change the status quo” on the disputed border.

“The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts,” the minister told Parliament.

Singh said the clash led to “injuries to a few personnel on both sides” but that there were no “serious casualties on our side”. However, the chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Arunachal Pradesh unit Tapir Gao told United Kingdom-based daily The Telegraph that six personnel were severely hurt and flown to Guwahati. He added that at least 20 Indian soldiers were wounded by Chinese troops in hand-to-hand combat.

Last week’s scuffle was the first since the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June 2020.

The incident led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers while China said it suffered four casualties. In September, the two sides agreed to disengage at Patrolling Pillar (15) in the Gogra-Hotspring border area in Ladakh after a consensus was reached in the 16th round of military talks.