‘Serious clashes’ between India and China in Galwan Valley — India says 'Chinese troops had planned this escalation'
- The Indian Army confirmed today that soldiers from both India and China’s sides were killed in action in violent clashes on June 15.
- So far, 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in action. There is no official confirmation about casualties on the Chinese side.
- The clashes erupted at a time when both sides had met in
Galwan Valleyin Ladakh to de-escalate.
- The Indian Army has issued a statement saying senior officials from both the sides are meeting to defuse the situation.
In its first confirmation, the Indian Army revealed that three soldiers, including a commanding officer were killed in action. However, it has now amended its statement to confirm that there have been casualties on both the sides.
The Indian Army has updated the casualty number to 20 soldiers now. The Chinese side has not revealed any number so far.
Army amends statement, says "casualties suffered on both sides" in "violent face-off" during de-escalation process… https://t.co/yjYMs2rMwY— ANI (@ANI) 1592295128000
The Indian Army has issued a statement saying senior officials from both the sides are meeting to defuse the situation.
"I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are important. India wants peace but when instigated, India is capable of giving a befitting reply." Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement on June 17.
"On late-evening & night of June 15, a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by Chinese side to unilaterally change status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had agreement at higher level been scrupulously followed by Chinese side." the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
"Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side." the MEA added.
“What happened in Galwan was premeditated and planned action by China which was responsible for the sequence of events.” said India's Foreign Minister S Jaishankar during his talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
"Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on June 17.
In a statement issued to Global Times, China’s Foreign Minister said, “Indian troops on Monday seriously violated consensus of the two sides by illegally crossing the border twice & carrying out provocative attacks on Chinese soldiers, resulting in serious physical clashes.”
The People's Liberation Army's Western Theater Command issued an official statement, saying "the Indian troops crossed the line of actual control (LAC)" and "purposefully launched a provocative attack".
According to a report by New York Times, no bullets have been fired in the clashes between Indian and Chinese armies. The report suggests that the casualties were due to stone pelting on both the sides. Exact details of the clashes have not been revealed yet.
Build up of troops amid India-China border dispute
The standoff between India and China has been ongoing for nearly 42 days now since the first reports of violence in Galwan Valley on May 5. India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Nath Singh, told the press that both countries are engaged in dialogue at military and diplomatic levels.
The central issue is that the India-China border is not demarcated and not defined. “I was there in 1959, 60, 61, 62. The two sides try to play chess at the border but to use the term ‘military stand-off’ is too much,” added former National Security Agency (NSA) advisor, MK Narayanan at a seminar organised by the Chennai International Centre.
The trigger for this fresh border dispute between India and China is based on China’s opposition to the infrastructure development that India has been carrying out around the Pangong Tso Lake.
Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, told India Today, “This is a watershed moment. India-China relations won’t be the same again.”
Citing the example of the 73-day standoff at Doklam in 2017, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that even at that time India had held firm but the issue was eventually resolved through dialogue.
In fact, it seemed like the issue was at least temporarily settled after India started moving workers from Jhark for the border road projects in Ladakh yesterday. However, soon after, the reports of another escalation and the casualties came through.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed the current operational situation in Eastern Ladakh, with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chiefs of three services— Army, Navy, and Air Force. The External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was also present during the meeting.
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