India’s Modi responds to ‘violent face-off’ with China over Himalayan border

Trending news
Spread the love

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded to the violent face-off, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers died and many more were injured, saying that India does not “instigate” and will not compromise on “integrity and sovereignty.”

“India wants peace, but if instigated, India at all costs is capable of giving an appropriate response,” Modi warned in a strongly worded statement, which still left the door open for deescalation.

China also suffered casualties in the confrontation, the Indian army said, though neither side has released any figures.

In a phone call on Wednesday with his Indian counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged India to “strictly control its frontline troops and immediately stop all provocative actions,” according to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“The Indian side must not misjudge the current situation and must not underestimate China’s firm will to safeguard territorial sovereignty,” Wang was quoted as saying.

The statement added that China and India had agreed to “cool down” the situation at the border.

The incident is only the latest crisis for Modi, who is already facing intense criticism over his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 354,000 people across the country, and killed nearly 12,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Multiple Indian states have extended their lockdowns as they struggle to contain the outbreak.

“The timing is just terrible all around,” said Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. “India is grappling with an economic crisis that began prior to but has been dramatically worsened by the coronavirus lockdown, and is still seeing a slow case increase so must face the public health implications, and now has live border problems with three countries: Pakistan, China, and Nepal.”

Modi spoke about the confrontation on a conference call Wednesday with chief ministers of Indian states, who observed a two-minute silence to pay tribute to those who died.

The Prime Minister has called for an all party meeting on Friday “to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas.”

Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans as they protest against the killing of three Indian soldiers by Chinese troops, in Ahmedabad, India on June 16, 2020.

Deadly brawl

The incident occurred during a “deescalation process” underway in the Galwan Valley in the disputed Aksai Chin-Ladakh area, where a large troop buildup has reportedly been taking place for weeks now on both sides of the border, before senior military commanders began talks earlier this month.

The Indian army had earlier said three soldiers had died, but added late Tuesday that 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.”

The deaths are the first military casualties along the two countries’ disputed border for more than 40 years.

According to a source with the Indian armed forces, the deadly fight between soldiers started after Chinese troops erected a tent in the disputed area after the deescalation began, which Indian forces pulled down, leading to a heated exchange.

Why are China and India fighting over an inhospitable strip of the Himalayas?

On Monday, June 15, Chinese troops returned with reinforcements and assaulted the Indian troops, the source said, adding there was “intent to harm the Indian soldiers.”

“They used stones, bamboo sticks with nails to attack the Indian soldiers. The Indian soldiers were not ready for the assault,” said the source, adding that the brawl led to severe injuries, which were exacerbated by the sub-zero temperatures and high altitude.

The standoff lasted between four to five hours and that by the time Indian reinforcements got to the spot, many had lost their lives, the source said.

CNN is unable to independently confirm this account of events. So far China has not given a full, official account of events.

“The loss of soldiers in Galwan is deeply disturbing and painful,” India’s defense minister, Rajnath Singh, tweeted Wednesday. “Our soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

At a regular news conference Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that on Monday, “Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which lead to serious physical conflict between the two sides.”

Doubling down on that narrative on Wednesday, Zhao told reporters: “The right and wrong of this is very clear. This incident happened at the Chinese side of the line of actual control. China is not to blame for this.”

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) released a statement Tuesday night calling on the Indian army to immediately stop what it described as “provocative actions” and to “resolve the issue through the correct track of dialogue and talks.”

“The sovereignty of the Galwan Valley region has always belonged to China,” Zhang Shuili, the spokesman of the Western Theater said in a statement on China’s Ministry of Defense website. “Indian troops violated its commitment, crossed the borderline for illegal activities and deliberately launched provocative attacks.”

Zhang added that the “serious physical conflict between the two sides” had “resulted in casualties.”

Hu Xijin, editor of the Chinese government-backed tabloid Global Times, said on Twitter that the fact China had not released a casualty figure was a sign of “goodwill from Beijing.”

“My understanding is the Chinese side doesn’t want people of the two countries to compare the casualties number so to avoid stoking public mood,” said Hu, who has strong ties to the Chinese leadership and military.

His conciliatory tone is a striking contrast to the jingoistic chest-thumping of his newspaper in recent weeks, which has published article after article on Chinese troop maneuvers, armaments and military might in the region.

Growing tensions

Tensions have been growing in the Himalayas along one of the world’s longest land borders since last month, with New Delhi and Beijing both accusing the other of overstepping the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the loosely defined demarcation line that separates the two nuclear armed neighbors.

The LAC, which runs between Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin and the rest of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region, was drawn up in the wake of the India-China border dispute in 1962.

The reported troop build up along the line has led to concerns that the two sides could again be inching towards conflict, particularly as both Chinese and Indian media have published jingoistic calls for action.

Both Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have built public support in large part on nationalism and a promise of future greatness. This often translates into aggressive rhetoric, particularly when playing to a domestic audience.

Such an approach was evidenced in Chinese coverage of recent PLA maneuvers in the Himalayas. Equally, despite Delhi’s public calls for easing tensions, leading Indian government figures have struck an aggressive tone, with Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah telling a rally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this month that “any intrusion into the the borders of India will be punished.”

“Some used to say that US and Israel were the only countries which were willing and capable of avenging every drop of the blood of their soldiers,” Shah said. “(Modi) has added India to that list.”

Writing for CNN this month, retired Indian general Singh said that part of the problem is that the de facto border, the LAC, is so ill defined.

“At strategic and operational levels, both militaries have exercised restraint,” he said. “However, at the tactical level, face-offs occur due to differing perceptions of where the actual border is as the LAC is not delineated on the ground. While face-offs get resolved locally, those related to the building of infrastructure, such as roads and defence fortifications, invariably take longer and require a combination of military and diplomatic initiatives.”

CNN’s Manveena Suri, Swati Gupta, Sugam Pokharel, Ben Westcott, Carly Walsh and Shawn Deng contributed reporting.


Source link

92 thoughts on “India’s Modi responds to ‘violent face-off’ with China over Himalayan border

  1. Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with
    us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this
    to my followers! Wonderful blog and excellent design.

  2. What i do not realize is actually how you are now
    not actually a lot more neatly-liked than you may be right now.

    You are very intelligent. You know thus considerably in the case of
    this topic, produced me in my view imagine it from numerous numerous angles.

    Its like men and women aren’t involved except it’s
    something to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding.

    All the time take care of it up!

  3. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with valuable information to work
    on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  4. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog.

    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to
    create your theme? Exceptional work!

    My homepage: ayam-laga.com

  5. I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m hoping to create my very own site and would love to know where you got this from
    or just what the theme is named. Kudos!

  6. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Outstanding work!

    my web page sabung ayam

  7. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to take a look.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Outstanding blog and great design.

  8. obviously like your web-site but you need to test
    the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them
    are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome
    to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll surely come again again.

  9. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make
    this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
    you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my
    own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    cheers

  10. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly
    the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    Also visit my site: komunitasmaya.com

  11. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  12. hi!,I love your writing very a lot! share we keep in touch more
    approximately your post on AOL? I require an expert on this space to resolve my problem.

    Maybe that is you! Looking forward to see you.

  13. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve really
    enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing
    to your rss feed and I hope you write once
    more very soon!

  14. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this
    website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where
    u got this from. cheers

  15. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need
    some guidance from an established blog. Is it very hard to set up
    your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  16. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to
    work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  17. Great blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so
    many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..

    Any ideas? Thank you!

  18. Hello! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a
    template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem.

    If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  19. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that
    you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    Feel free to visit my blog post – migliore smartwatch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *