China has been accused of abducting an Indian teenager in a cross-border raid that risks triggering further conflict between the two nuclear armed superpowers.
Relations between Beijing and New Delhi are at their worst since the two countries agreed an uneasy ceasefire to end a month-long conflict in 1962.
China has long claimed the Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet and has begun asserting its superior military power by constructing settlements within Indian territory.
A small group of Chinese troops came three miles into that state this week, near the village of Bishing in the Upper Siang district, according to Tapir Gao, an MP from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Mr Gao said that the Chinese soldiers arrested two Indian villagers - Miram Taron, 17, and Jhonny Yaying, 18 - while they were hunting in the forest near the border.
“The People’s Liberation Army was sitting inside Indian territory. In our tribal areas, local people know where to go for hunting and which area belongs to which country,” Mr Gao told The Telegraph.
“The Chinese soldiers arrested Mr Taron, while Mr Tyang escaped and reported the incident to the police today.”
Mr Taron has been taken into custody in China, according to Mr Gao, who has called on India’s Home Ministry to save the teenager.
This is not the first time that China has detained Indian citizens in Arunachal Pradesh.
Two years ago, the Indian Army alleged Chinese troops held five Indian teenagers who were out hunting near the Line of Actual Control. China said they had strayed into its territory and released the teenagers after ten days.
China has in recent years significantly increased its military build up along the 2,000-mile Line of Actual Control that separates the two countries.
In 2020, soldiers from the two countries engaged in brutal hand-to-hand combat in the Indian border state of Ladakh that resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers. At least 20 square miles of Indian territory was also seized by Chinese troops.