The United States on Tuesday said that it supports India’s efforts to de-escalate the situation with China after troops of the two countries clashed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9.

Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder claimed that China continues to gather and build military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control.

“It is important to point out, the growing trend by the PRC [People’s Republic of China] to assert itself and to be provocative in areas directed towards US allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific,” Ryder said. “We will continue to remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the security of our partners.”

India on Tuesday said that Chinese soldiers attempted to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9 by encroaching on the area, following which Indian troops retaliated.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that the clash led to “minor injuries” to a few soldiers on both sides. After the face-off, both sides immediately disengaged from the area, he added.

Media reports claimed that more than 200 Chinese soldiers, armed with spiked clubs having nails on them, as well as other weapons such as taser guns, clashed with Indian troops.

Following this, about 70 to 80 Indian soldiers were mobilised at night to compel the Chinese troops to return to their posts. Some reports suggest a smaller group of 50 Indian soldiers challenged the Chinese aggression.

On its part, China alleged that Indian troops illegally crossed a disputed border in the Tawang sector, leading to clashes.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the United States was closely monitoring the developments between India and China.

“We are glad to hear that both sides appear to have quickly disengaged from the clashes,” Jean-Pierre said. “We encourage India and China to utilize existing bilateral channels to discuss disputed boundaries.”

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.