China’s latest provocation on Galwan issue strains ties with India


AUGUST 31, 2020

The Galwan clash was the deadliest in 45 years. 20 Indian soldiers killed in action that took place on June 15.

The P.L.A’s unprovoked attack on Indian soldiers added fuel to a long-smouldering conflict. The galwan clashes led to outrage. There were calls for a complete boycott of China in India.

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Jaishankar said the Chinese attack was pre-meditated and Wang Yi was reminded of China’s agreement to de-escalate and disengage along the line of actual control.

However, the very next day — the Chinese government claimed the entire Galwan Valley. The Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said: “The Galwan Valley is located on the chinese side of the lac in the western section of the sino-indian border.”

China was never serious about de-escalation. This became obvious in the conversations that followed.

On June 22, India and China held military-level talks. This was the second round of dialogue. The first one — happened on June 6.

Before the clashes in Galwan, India and China agreed on stepwise mutual disengagement. But the P.L.A. didn’t pull back.

Almost eight days later, commanders from both sides met again. This was the third round of talks.

Both sides repeated calls for a phased de-escalation. The military level dialogue was unable to break the deadlock.

But India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Ajit Doval and Wang Yi are special representatives of India and China on the boundary issue. The NSA said India is strongly committed to ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both sides agreed to remain in touch.

There was some de-escalation on the border. The Chinese army moved back tents, vehicles and soldiers by 1-2 kilometres.

But this was way short of the promised complete de-escalation. India wanted china to withdraw to the pre-April 20 positions.

Beijing refused to budge, both sides have held discussions at least four times since July 6.

On July 14, the military level talks went on for almost 15 hours. 10 days later — there was a diplomatic dialogue.

Followed by the fifth round of military talks on August 2 and the sixth round of talks on the August 8.

Major generals from both sides participated in this one. Then diplomats held talks on August 20. Within 9 days — China broke its promise once again.

With its latest provocation — Beijing has taken its discussions with India back to square one.

Courtesy/Source: WION