India-China tensions grow high as twenty Indian soldiers dead after clash

India-China clash grows high as twenty Indian soldiers dead after clash
At least 20 Indian soldiers have died in clash with Chinese counterpart in disputed borders. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Indian army confirmed at least 20 of its soldiers have died after a “violent face-off” with Chinese troops along the countries’ de facto border in the Himalayas late Monday. The incident occurred in the Galwan Valley in the disputed Aksai Chin-Ladakh area during a “deescalation process” underway. A large troop of Chine and Indian soldiers build-up has reportedly been taking place for weeks now on both sides of the border in that area, before senior military commanders began talks earlier this month.

Indian army at first confirmed the death of three soldiers, but later on Tuesday, it said a further 17 troops “who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries.”

Indian and China has long border disputes but the deaths are the first military casualties along the two countries’ disputed border for more than 40 years.

Tensions are rising between the two countries. Source: EPA

A statement from Indian army says there was loss of life “on both sides,” but it did not specify any number of casualties in China’s side. The statement says senior military officials from both sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation.

On Tuesday, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said: “India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh.”

During a “productive meeting” on Saturday, June 6, senior commanders had “agreed on a process for such de-escalation”, the spokesperson said, and ground commanders had met regarding the implementation.

The Indian spokesperson said their expectation was this to unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley.

“Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side,” he added.

Source: CNN

He said India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC, given its responsible approach to border management.

”We expect the same of the Chinese side. We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Indian army said, Rajnath Singh, the country’s Defense Minister met with the Chief of Defense Staff, the External Affairs Minister and the chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Navy to review the “operational situation in Eastern Ladakh”. The meeting took place earlier on Tuesday.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blamed Indian soldiers to spark the tensions. He said Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the borderline for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which lead to serious physical conflict between the two sides.

Zhao said: “China has lodged strong protest and representation with the India side, and we once again we solemnly ask the India side to follow our consensus and strictly regulate its front line troops and do not cross the line and do not stir up troubles or take unilateral moves that may complicate matters.”

How tense is the area?

The LAC between the two countries is poorly demarcated. The presence of lakes, snowcaps and rivers mean the line can shift at any time. The soldiers either side – representing two of the world’s largest armies – come face-to-face at many points in the long border.

But in recent weeks, there have been tense confrontations along the border. Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed several times in recent days as well.

Indian has accused China of occupying 38,000sq km (14,700sq miles) of its territory and accused China of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh’s Galwan valley.

Several rounds of talks in the last three decades between top leaders from both sides have failed to resolve the boundary disputes.

China and India have fought only one war so far, in 1962, and India suffered a humiliating defeat.

Dozens of Chinese and Indian soldiers exchanged physical blows on the border in the north-eastern state of Sikkim in May. The two countries clashed in the region also in 2017 after China tried to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.

There are several reasons behind the current growing tensions – but competing strategic goals lie at the root, and both sides blame each other.

India has built a new road in what experts say is the most vulnerable and remote area along the LAC in Ladakh which seems to have infuriated Beijing.

An Indian military banner post is seen next to a road in Ladakh in 2012. The region shares a border with both China and Pakistan.
Source: Getty Images

The road could boost India capability to move men and materiel rapidly in case of a conflict.

The rising tensions between two military powerful nation had left many worried about the potential for a confrontation, particularly as both country’s media have published jingoistic calls for action.

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