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Sunday, April 14, 2024

China demands Indian troops withdrawal as Ladakh tensions mount

Chinese demands after latest round of Sino-Indian border talks point out that tensions between two Himalayan neighbours are far from over.

China has demanded India withdraw troops that Beijing said had illegally crossed their shared border, its military spokesman said on Monday.

The Indian army alleged in a statement that Chinese troops carried out military movements over the weekend to change the status quo on their disputed border in a fresh flare-up between the two sides.

Chinese Military says it is taking countermeasures

The Chinese military spokesman said China is taking countermeasures and will safeguard its territorial sovereignty.

China has carried out “provocative military movements” in the disputed Himalayan border area between the two countries overnight from Saturday to Sunday, alleged to an Indian army statement, in a fresh flare-up between the two nuclear-armed countries. Even though the two sides had reached what seemed a de-escalation deal prior to this incident.

Read more: Is India forcing partner countries to take sides in US-China cold war?

A Chinese military spokesperson said on Monday that Indian troops have broken their promises and again crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley region and provocatively attacked Chinese soldiers, hours after the Indian army accused the Chinese side of doing so.

Indian troops intruded in the China-controlled Galwan Valley on August 31, which broke the promises and consensus reached by two sides after rounds of dialogue, Western Theater Command spokesperson Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili said in a statement.

Indian troops broke previously brokered deal of withdrawing troops- China

Indian troops are responsible for the latest escalation, Zhang said.

We demand India immediately withdraw troops that had illegally intruded the Chinese border, and urge the Indian side to stop all provocative actions and strictly control frontline troops to avoid further escalation, Zhang added.

The Chinese army is taking all necessary measures to cope with the situation and it will firmly defend China’s sovereignty and territory, he added.

Earlier on Monday, the Indian army said in a statement that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “violated the previous consensus reached in the previous military and diplomatic engagements and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” in the disputed eastern Ladakh region on the night of August 29/30.

The Galwan Valley, which is part of the disputed region, is located on the Chinese side of the LAC in the western section of the Sino-Indian border. And Chinese soldiers have patrolled the area for many years, according to China’s Defense Ministry.

At Monday’s regular briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also denied India’s accusation, saying Chinese troops always abide by the LAC, and the two sides are maintaining diplomatic and military communications on the border dispute, but he didn’t give more details on the talks.

China blames India for escalation in the Galwan Valley, and it has called on the Indian side to settle the dispute through military and diplomatic dialogue.

On May 6, Indian soldiers first intruded in the China-controlled Galwan Valley. Despite bilateral diplomatic efforts, Indian troops violated the newly-reached consensus and trespassed China’s border and launched provocative attacks against Chinese personnel, leading to bloody conflicts between soldiers from both countries, according to a release by Beijing.

China has repeated that it hopes the Indian side can eventually meet China halfway, withdraw its troops, and fully implement and the consensus reached by the two sides and settle the dispute through dialogue and diplomatic ways.

After political negotiation, troops from both countries had disengaged from front-line contact in the Galway Valley since early July.

Army officials from the two sides had met previously to resolve the latest border dispute that comes more than two months after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in fighting that broke out between the two sides in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.

India has banned dozens of Chinese apps, including popular video-sharing app TikTok, and has placed restrictions on Chinese investments amid the backlash against Beijing following the deadly border clashes in June.

“The most serious situation after 1962. In fact, after 45 years, we have had military casualties on this border. The quantum of forces currently deployed by both sides at the LAC is also unprecedented,” India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had said

“Talks have been going on between the two sides since May to resolve these escalating tensions, but despite these talks going on, there was a very violent clash on the 15th of June, where 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed,”

GVS News Desk