Confrontation: China and India at the Himalayas…

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The two countries have shown interest in de-escalation and agreed to disengage this week, but there is little sign so far that heightened tensions will dissipate soon.

Both sides have instead amassed large numbers of troops and weapons, along the undemarcated border, or the Line of Actual Control, since the largely hand-to-hand brawls on June 15. Along with an undisclosed number of Chinese casualties, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the disputed Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, known in China as Aksai Chin, where the two countries also fought their short but bloody 1962 conflict.

Observers generally say that it would be nightmarish scenario for Beijing to ratchet up tensions and further alienate New Delhi in the face of worsening ties with Washington and the biggest international backlash in decades over China’s diplomatic overreach and its culpability in the coronavirus pandemic.

Pang Zhongying, an international affairs analyst at Ocean University of China, said India had transformed itself in the past two decades from a giant in South Asia to become an Asian power.

“Relations with India rank high in China’s foreign policy agenda, especially those pertaining to its periphery region,” Pang said.

“It is really unfortunate for Beijing to be distracted by the dangerous border stand-off with India when it needs to focus on the free-falling China-US relations as part of a multi-front crisis diplomatically and economically.”

But India’s increasingly nationalist and adventurist foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and arguably more importantly, Washington’s rolling out of its Indo-Pacific Strategy just three months after the Doklam stand-off, apparently aimed at Beijing, have “sent China into a frenzy of damage control”.

“Since then, the US factor has become the most important consideration in China’s policy towards India. For China, the prospect of facing the American military at sea and the Indian military along its southern border and in the Indian Ocean becomes much more real and dangerous with defence cooperation between the US and India,” Sun said.

“Even if China could defeat and contain India through a war, the pay-off for China would remain minimal because it wouldn’t address China’s key external security challenges in the Pacific,” Sun said. “Instead, a breakdown in ties with New Delhi would only further expose Beijing in its primary theatre vis-à-vis the US.”


https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3091844/did-china-miscalculate-rise-india?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=article&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1593922724

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Plenty has been written so far about the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. But India Today brings you the most detailed account of the brutal June 15 Galwan battle.

Shiv Aroor New Delhi
June 21, 2020
UPDATED: June 21, 2020 15:24 IST

Three separate brawls divided by time and space. Chinese troops who aren’t normally deployed at Patrol Point 14. And, a young Indian Army team that took a decision to cross the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to square things up with the Chinese Army. The contours of the June 15 bloodletting have become cleared.

Plenty has been written so far about the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. But contradictory claims, and gaps in the narrative have so far left the story bereft of cohesiveness. Several questions have remained unanswered, with individual aspects lending themselves to speculation and guesswork. Now with a series of conversations with Army personnel in the Galwan Valley, Thangtse and Leh, India Today TV pieces together the most detailed account so far of how things played out.

For the whole report:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/3-separate-brawls-outsider-chinese-troops-more-most-detailed-account-of-the-brutal-june-15-galwan-battle-1691185-2020-06-21

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China’s version…

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NDTV reported that no shots were fired in the battle, but that soldiers attacked each other with sticks and batons on the Indian side of the border. 

The army said in a statement late Tuesday that the two sides ‘have disengaged’ from the disputed Galwan area where they clashed overnight on Monday. 

The 20 soldiers succumbed to injuries they suffered in the sub-zero temperatures of the high-altitude terrain. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8425875/Three-Indian-soldiers-killed-fighting-Chinese-forces-disputed-Himalayan-border.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

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They may have been engaged in fist fights recently with the Indian soldiers but check but the Chinese Army have assigned weapons adapted to high-altitude warfare to the border conflict.

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/27100/China_Lists_Weapons_to_be_Used_in_Border_Conflict_with_India#.XthEyBjmiDY

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China and India Brawl at 14,000 Feet Along the Border

 Jeffrey Gettleman and Steven Lee Myers 1 hr ago

NEW DELHI — High in the Himalayas, an enormous fistfight erupted in early May between the soldiers of China and India. Brawls at 14,000 feet along their inhospitable and disputed frontier are not terribly unusual, but what happened next was.

A few days later, Chinese troops confronted Indian soldiers again, this time at several other remote border points in the Himalayas, some more than 1,000 miles apart. Since then both armies have rushed in thousands of reinforcements. Indian analysts say that China has beefed up its forces with dump trucks, excavators, troop carriers, artillery and armored vehicles and that China is now occupying Indian territory.

No shots have been fired, as the de facto border code dictates, but the soldiers have fought fiercely with rocks, wooden clubs and their hands in a handful of clashes. In one melee at the glacial lake Pangong Tso, several Indian troops were hurt badly enough that they had to be evacuated by helicopter, and Indian analysts said Chinese troops were injured as well.

Nobody thinks China and India are about to go to war. But the escalating buildup has turned into their most serious confrontation since 2017 and may be a sign of more trouble to come as the world’s two most populous countries increasingly bump up against each other in one of the bleakest and most remote borderlands on earth.

For India, the Chinese incursions and maneuvers at multiple points along the more than 2,100-mile border have raised suspicions of a concerted campaign to exert pressure on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The confrontation with India “fits a broader pattern of Chinese assertiveness, ” said Tanvi Madan, director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, noting that it was the fourth flare-up since China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, rose to power at the end of 2012.

India’s government has disclosed few details about what has actually happened, saying in a statement only that it was the “Chinese side that has recently undertaken activity hindering India’s normal patrolling patterns.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-and-india-brawl-at-14000-feet-along-the-border/ar-BB14Othq?ocid=st2

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Military tensions mount on the India-China border

May 29th 2020

Reports of Chinese incursions into India raise tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours

WHEN INDIAN and Chinese soldiers brawled at Pangong lake in Ladakh earlier this month—a punch-up serious enough to leave many in hospital—General M.M. Naravane, India’s army chief, was unworried. Such “temporary and short-duration face-offs” happened from time to time at such remote stretches of the two countries’ 3,500km border, he said. Both sides had “disengaged”. But a week later he dashed north to the headquarters of his 14th Corps in nearby Leh, the state capital, suggesting that something more serious was afoot.

According to Indian press accounts, Chinese troops have crossed the disputed border with India at several points, some reportedly penetrating 3-4km over punishing Himalayan terrain.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/05/29/military-tensions-mount-on-the-india-china-border?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/highstakesmilitarytensionsmountontheindiachinaborderasia

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