File photo of an Indian and Chinese soldier on the border
India and China have a long history of border disputes

Tensions are rising between Delhi and Beijing amid reports that Chinese troops kidnapped five Indian civilians in a border state last week.

The allegation was first tweeted on 5 September by an Indian lawmaker from Arunachal Pradesh state.

An Indian cabinet minister has since said that a “hotline message” has been sent to the Chinese army.

Chinese foreign ministry has said that it has “no details to release” about the incident.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian added that Beijing “has never recognised so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’, which is China’s south Tibet region”.

“We have no details to release yet about question on Indian army sending a message to PLA about five missing Indians in the region,” he said.

Arunachal Pradesh lawmaker Tapir Gao had earlier tweeted that the alleged abduction happened on 3 September near the border.

He did not give more details.When a journalist asked cabinet minister Kiren Rijiju about the reports on Twitter, he said the Indian army was waiting to hear from their Chinese counterparts.

The abduction allegation comes in the wake of rising tensions between the neighbours.

India accused China of provoking military tensions at the border twice within one week in August. Both charges were denied by Beijing.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Chinese counterpart in Moscow on 5 September, but what was meant to be an icebreaker soon turned into a war of words.

China said that the border stand-off was “entirely” India’s fault, and that it would not lose “an inch of its territory”.

And India accused the Chinese of “amassing of large number of troops, aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo”.

While there has been no fresh violence, minor skirmishes have been reported with analysts describing the situation at the border as fluid since June.

Deadly clashes in June between troops on both sides left 20 Indian soldiers dead. There were unconfirmed reports of Chinese casualties.

Both countries regularly accuse each other of instigating the fight in the Himalayan region of Ladakh by crossing the border, a poorly demarcated line that snakes through the inhospitable terrain.

Despite several rounds of military and diplomatic talks, the nuclear-armed neighbours have failed to resolve their border disputes.

Indian army convoy carrying reinforcements and supplies, drive towards Leh, on a highway bordering China.
India has been sending reinforcements to the border

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