One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Conflict in the China-Indian Border Reignites
A recent clash between the Indian army and Chinese troops comes only days after a peace seeking meeting was held between the two nations. Tension continues to rise as both armies have recently confronted in the Ladakh region on the night of Monday June 15th. The dispute violated the previously accorded agreement that instilled in attempts to achieve a peaceful resolution. This was stated in a meeting on June 6th between military commanders of both nations.
A statement released by the Indian army reported the death of 20 of their troops. The Chinese authorities have not yet released the official numbers of their fatalities.
In response to the recent event, both governments have publicly made statements placing the blame on the other nation for initiating the attack.
“On the late-evening and night of 15th June, 2020 a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there.” said the official statement released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on June 16th.
A day later, through a press release, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that “on June 15, the Indian troops seriously departed from such consensus, crossed the LAC for illegal activities, and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel, which caused violent physical clashes between the two sides”, in reference to the consensus reached during the previous meeting.
Following the event, Colonel Zhang Shiuli, the Chinese spokesperson representing the Army, said “the sovereignty over the Galvan Valley area has always belonged to China”. The claiming of the territory further escalated the conflict.
Despite the violent dispute and claims, both authorities emphasized the need to maintain and continue diplomatic dialogue to deescalate the situation. Both have urged the other party to hold their part of the agreement. The two nations stated that they still want to move towards a peaceful resolution.
This was the first conflict that occurred in the region of Galwan since 1962.