Recent developments on the border illustrate a clash between India and China. India has accused Chinese soldiers of charging on the Pangong Tso Lake and carrying out provocative military movements. Tensions arose between the two nations as Chinese soldiers were reportedly found guilty of violating the border consensus agreed upon by both countries in recently held peace talks.
India vs. China clash
According to Indian media, the clash ensued when Chinese soldiers came in large numbers along the south bank of the Pangong Lake. Chinese troops were accused of attempting to change the status quo in Ladakh. The clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the month of June alone resulted in the death of over 20 Indian soldiers. China has argued that their soldiers also took multiple hits during the clashes.
The two nuclear powers are bickering and accusing each other of violating the poorly demarcated border. Both sides raise finger on the other for provoking fights and carrying out provocative military activity. China has denied all reports of Indian media accusing Chinese soldiers of breaking the status quo on the Pangong Tso Lake.
China’s response to the clash on Pangong Tso Lake
The Chinese military adopted the stance that Chinese soldiers have always strictly adhered to the Line of Actual Control, they further admitted that Chinese soldiers never crossed the line. China’s Foreign Ministry told the press that two super powers have been in talks regarding the clashes over territorial issues. Meanwhile, Indian media has claimed that Indian soldiers “pre-empted” the Chinese military activities on the “Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake” on the eve of 29th August. Indian military further clarified that they took measures to strengthen their positions in case Chinese soldiers decided to clash with Indian forces.>
The Indian government has stated that Delhi was engaged in peace talks but “is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity”. Analysts hint that this public announcement from the Indian government suggest that peace talks regarding the border activities have been suspended.
Clashes in June
The month of June heightened the increasing tensions between China and India. According to reports, troops from both superpowers clashed on ridges at a height of approximately 4,300m (14,000ft) on steep terrain. Thus clash resulted in a number of Indian soldiers slipping in the fast-flowing waters of Galwan river in sub-zero temperatures and losing their lives.
Sources narrate that 20 Indian soldiers died as a result of these skirmishes and clashes on the border, while 76 have been injured. China has not officially revealed any details regarding the casualties incurred by Chinese soldiers. Fortunately, the clashes did not involve any firearms which would have resulted in a greater number of causalities. The 1996 agreement signed by both superpowers prohibits the use of guns and explosives in the area. The reasons behind these clashes are not crystal care, but the possible explanation points towards strategic goals.