India-China border face-off 2020: Frequently Asked Questions

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TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Sep 3, 2020, 13:24 IST

NEW DELHI: India and China border dispute was once again in the headlines after the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops clashed at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. The latest confrontation between the two countries comes at a time when the world is reeling under coronavirus pandemic. This is not the first time that Beijing has tried to strong-arm its way to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

How did the ongoing border dispute start
The first melee was reported on May 5, 2020, with Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing at the northern beach of Pangang Tso, a lake in the Galwan Valley Ladakh, which is located at the tri-border area of India, Tibet, China with the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passing through it. Several soldiers were reported injured.The second clash took place within a week at the lake and more soldiers were reported injured as they fought with sticks, stones and arm-to-arm combat. Videos of this melee went viral on social media. These clashes culminated into the most deadly face-off India and China had witnessed in decades when on the intervening night of June 15-16, 2020, another fight broke out between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers with several more fatalities on the Chinese side, the number of which Beijing till date has not confirmed.Following the June 14-15 clash, the border tensions between India and China escalated drastically as it led to a change in status-quo at the LAC. Part of a region that was on the Indian side was transgressed and taken over by China.Since the Galwan clash at the Pangong Lake, India and China have had a skirmish at several other locations along the Indo-Sino border like Hot Springs, Kungrang Nala, Gogra and DBO-Depsang areas in Ladakh; and in Sikkim as well. How is the de-escalation process coming along
Following the June skirmish, India and China have engaged in de-escalation talks at several levels. The two foreign ministers have had talks, Corps Commander-level officers have had at least three round of talks, other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have also been held but to an impasse.China continues to try to change the status quo at various locations along the LAC while India continues to push back.The most recent attempt by China came on August 31, to open a new front in the Chushul area when the rival brigade commanders were holding a flag meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the area where rival troops, tanks and other heavy weapon systems are ranged against each other.However, the August 31 attempt by PLA troops to unilaterally alter the status quo of the LAC was foiled this time by “defensive actions” undertaken by the Indian soldiers, said officials.Moreover, during late July and early August, reports emerged of People's Liberation Army (PLA) strengthening positions and accumulating troops at more locations other than Ladakh such as Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, parts of north Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. What triggered the Galwan clash
India's former ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha has said that these skirmishes were part of a growing Chinese assertiveness in both the Indo-China border and the South China sea. Researchers in the United States explain that China's territory grabbing technique involves encroaching upon small parts of enemy territory over a large period of time. Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain said that the skirmishes were post–Covid strategic messages from China to its neighbours which would make India prioritise the Himalayan sector over the maritime Indian Ocean region, a more vulnerable area for the Chinese.Raja Mohan, Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, wrote that the growing power imbalance between China and India is the main cause of the dispute. These skirmishes have also been linked by multiple people with the Chinese strategy of Five Fingers of Tibet. What is the cause of India and China's border disputes
India and China do not have a mutually recognised official border. Instead, what the two countries have is a 4,056 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).This LAC traverses Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side and on the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."However, clause number 6 of the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas mentions, "The two sides agree that references to the line of actual control in this Agreement do not prejudice their respective positions on the boundary question".This is supposed to serve as a status quo maintained and respected by both the countries in the absence of agreement over a mutually drawn border. Notwithstanding the LAC, Chinese troops continue to make incursions to the disputed areas and illegally construct military infrastructure. India has been objecting to this "salami-slicing" repeatedly. What to expect in near future
India has secured its entire Eastern border in the months following the Galwan clash. Now, there is heavy Army deployment along with the movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state.With the aim to not allow PLA troops to take over any more territory on the Indian side of the LAC, the Army has also been upgrading its use of defence technology in the region. This likely means that the stand-off at Pangong Tso and other regions along the LAC will continue for a while dragging out into winters.The winter in the region is harsh given the high altitude and Army deployment comes at a huge cost of manpower and logistics.Indian Army has assured that it will hold the line even as China has shown no signs to cede in the face of international pressure it faces due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic has encouraged China to pose a strong front and has also engaged in aggravating disputes in the South China Sea. How did the ongoing border dispute start
The first melee was reported on May 5, 2020, with Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing at the northern beach of Pangang Tso, a lake in the Galwan Valley Ladakh, which is located at the tri-border area of India & Tibet and China with the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passing through it. Several soldiers were reported injured.The second clash took place within a week at the lake and more soldiers were reported injured as they fought with sticks, stones and arm-to-arm combat. Videos of this melee went viral on social media. These clashes culminated into the most deadly face-off India and China had witnessed in decades when on the intervening night of June 14-15, 2020, another fight broke out between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers with several more fatalities on the Chinese side, the number of which Beijing till date has not confirmed.Following the June 14-15 clash, the border tensions between India and China escalated drastically as it led to a change in status-quo at the LAC. Part of a region that was on the Indian side was transgressed and taken over by China.Since the Galwan clash at the Pangong Lake, India and China have had a skirmish at several other locations along the Indo-Sino border like Hot Springs, Kungrang Nala, Gogra and DBO-Depsang areas in Ladakh; and in Sikkim as well. How is the de-escalation process coming along
Following the June skirmish, India and China have engaged in de-escalation talks at several levels. The two foreign ministers have had talks, Corps Commander-level officers have had at least three round of talks, other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have also been held but to an impasse.China continues to try to change the status quo at various locations along the LAC while India continues to push back.The most recent attempt by China came on August 31, to open a new front in the Chushul area when the rival brigade commanders were holding a flag meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the area where rival troops, tanks and other heavy weapon systems are ranged against each other.However, the August 31 attempt by PLA troops to unilaterally alter the status quo of the LAC was foiled this time by “defensive actions” undertaken by the Indian soldiers, said officials.Moreover, during late July and early August, reports emerged of People's Liberation Army (PLA) strengthening positions and accumulating troops at more locations other than Ladakh such as Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, parts of north Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. What triggered the Galwan clash
India's former ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha has said that these skirmishes were part of a growing Chinese assertiveness in both the Indo-China border and the South China sea. Researchers in the United States explain that China's territory grabbing technique involves encroaching upon small parts of enemy territory over a large period of time. Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain said that the skirmishes were post–Covid strategic messages from China to its neighbours which would make India prioritise the Himalayan sector over the maritime Indian Ocean region, a more vulnerable area for the Chinese.Raja Mohan, Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, wrote that the growing power imbalance between China and India is the main cause of the dispute. These skirmishes have also been linked by multiple people with the Chinese strategy of Five Fingers of Tibet. What is the cause of India and China's border disputes
India and China do not have a mutually recognised official border. Instead, what the two countries have is a 4,056 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).This LAC traverses Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side and on the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."However, clause number 6 of the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas mentions, "The two sides agree that references to the line of actual control in this Agreement do not prejudice their respective positions on the boundary question".This is supposed to serve as a status quo maintained and respected by both the countries in the absence of agreement over a mutually drawn border. Notwithstanding the LAC, Chinese troops continue to make incursions to the disputed areas and illegally construct military infrastructure. India has been objecting to this "salami-slicing" repeatedly. What to expect in near future
India has secured its entire Eastern border in the months following the Galwan clash. Now, there is heavy Army deployment along with the movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state.With the aim to not allow PLA troops to take over any more territory on the Indian side of the LAC, the Army has also been upgrading its use of defence technology in the region. This likely means that the stand-off at Pangong Tso and other regions along the LAC will continue for a while dragging out into winters.The winter in the region is harsh given the high altitude and Army deployment comes at a huge cost of manpower and logistics.Indian Army has assured that it will hold the line even as China has shown no signs to cede in the face of international pressure it faces due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic has encouraged China to pose a strong front and has also engaged in aggravating disputes in the South China Sea. How did the ongoing border dispute start
The first melee was reported on May 5, 2020, with Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing at the northern beach of Pangang Tso, a lake in the Galwan Valley Ladakh, which is located at the tri-border area of India & Tibet and China with the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passing through it. Several soldiers were reported injured.The second clash took place within a week at the lake and more soldiers were reported injured as they fought with sticks, stones and arm-to-arm combat. Videos of this melee went viral on social media. These clashes culminated into the most deadly face-off India and China had witnessed in decades when on the intervening night of June 14-15, 2020, another fight broke out between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers with several more fatalities on the Chinese side, the number of which Beijing till date has not confirmed.Following the June 14-15 clash, the border tensions between India and China escalated drastically as it led to a change in status-quo at the LAC. Part of a region that was on the Indian side was transgressed and taken over by China.Since the Galwan clash at the Pangong Lake, India and China have had a skirmish at several other locations along the Indo-Sino border like Hot Springs, Kungrang Nala, Gogra and DBO-Depsang areas in Ladakh; and in Sikkim as well. How is the de-escalation process coming along
Following the June skirmish, India and China have engaged in de-escalation talks at several levels. The two foreign ministers have had talks, Corps Commander-level officers have had at least three round of talks, other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have also been held but to an impasse.China continues to try to change the status quo at various locations along the LAC while India continues to push back.The most recent attempt by China came on August 31, to open a new front in the Chushul area when the rival brigade commanders were holding a flag meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the area where rival troops, tanks and other heavy weapon systems are ranged against each other.However, the August 31 attempt by PLA troops to unilaterally alter the status quo of the LAC was foiled this time by “defensive actions” undertaken by the Indian soldiers, said officials.Moreover, during late July and early August, reports emerged of People's Liberation Army (PLA) strengthening positions and accumulating troops at more locations other than Ladakh such as Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, parts of north Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. What triggered the Galwan clash
India's former ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha has said that these skirmishes were part of a growing Chinese assertiveness in both the Indo-China border and the South China sea. Researchers in the United States explain that China's territory grabbing technique involves encroaching upon small parts of enemy territory over a large period of time. Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain said that the skirmishes were post–Covid strategic messages from China to its neighbours which would make India prioritise the Himalayan sector over the maritime Indian Ocean region, a more vulnerable area for the Chinese.Raja Mohan, Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, wrote that the growing power imbalance between China and India is the main cause of the dispute. These skirmishes have also been linked by multiple people with the Chinese strategy of Five Fingers of Tibet. What is the cause of India and China's border disputes
India and China do not have a mutually recognised official border. Instead, what the two countries have is a 4,056 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).This LAC traverses Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side and on the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."However, clause number 6 of the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas mentions, "The two sides agree that references to the line of actual control in this Agreement do not prejudice their respective positions on the boundary question".This is supposed to serve as a status quo maintained and respected by both the countries in the absence of agreement over a mutually drawn border. Notwithstanding the LAC, Chinese troops continue to make incursions to the disputed areas and illegally construct military infrastructure. India has been objecting to this "salami-slicing" repeatedly. What to expect in near future
India has secured its entire Eastern border in the months following the Galwan clash. Now, there is heavy Army deployment along with the movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state.With the aim to not allow PLA troops to take over any more territory on the Indian side of the LAC, the Army has also been upgrading its use of defence technology in the region. This likely means that the stand-off at Pangong Tso and other regions along the LAC will continue for a while dragging out into winters.The winter in the region is harsh given the high altitude and Army deployment comes at a huge cost of manpower and logistics.Indian Army has assured that it will hold the line even as China has shown no signs to cede in the face of international pressure it faces due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic has encouraged China to pose a strong front and has also engaged in aggravating disputes in the South China Sea. How did the ongoing border dispute start
The first melee was reported on May 5, 2020, with Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing at the northern beach of Pangang Tso, a lake in the Galwan Valley Ladakh, which is located at the tri-border area of India & Tibet and China with the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passing through it. Several soldiers were reported injured.The second clash took place within a week at the lake and more soldiers were reportedly injured as they fought with sticks, stones and indulged in arm-to-arm combat. Videos of this melee went viral on social media. These clashes culminated into the most deadly face-off India and China had witnessed in decades when on the intervening night of June 14-15, 2020, another fight broke out between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers with several more fatalities on the Chinese side, the number of which Beijing till date has not confirmed.Following the June 14-15 clash, the border tensions between India and China escalated drastically as it led to a change in status-quo at the LAC. Part of a region that was on the Indian side was transgressed and taken over by China.Since the Galwan clash at the Pangong Lake, India and China have had a skirmish at several other locations along the Indo-Sino border like Hot Springs, Kungrang Nala, Gogra and DBO-Depsang areas in Ladakh; and in Sikkim as well. How is the de-escalation process coming along
Following the June skirmish, India and China have engaged in de-escalation talks at several levels. The two foreign ministers have had talks, Corps Commander-level officers have had at least three round of talks, other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have also been held but to an impasse.China continues to try to change the status quo at various locations along the LAC while India continues to push back.The most recent attempt by China came on August 31, to open a new front in the Chushul area when the rival brigade commanders were holding a flag meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the area where rival troops, tanks and other heavy weapon systems are ranged against each other.However, the August 31 attempt by PLA troops to unilaterally alter the status quo of the LAC was foiled this time by “defensive actions” undertaken by the Indian soldiers, said officials.Moreover, during late July and early August, reports emerged of People's Liberation Army (PLA) strengthening positions and accumulating troops at more locations other than Ladakh such as Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, parts of north Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. What triggered the Galwan clash
India's former ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha has said that these skirmishes were part of a growing Chinese assertiveness in both the Indo-China border and the South China sea. Researchers in the United States explain that China's territory grabbing technique involves encroaching upon small parts of enemy territory over a large period of time. Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain said that the skirmishes were post–Covid strategic messages from China to its neighbours which would make India prioritise the Himalayan sector over the maritime Indian Ocean region, a more vulnerable area for the Chinese.Raja Mohan, Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, wrote that the growing power imbalance between China and India is the main cause of the dispute. These skirmishes have also been linked by multiple people with the Chinese strategy of Five Fingers of Tibet. What is the cause of India and China's border disputes
India and China do not have a mutually recognised official border. Instead, what the two countries have is a 4,056 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).This LAC traverses Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side and on the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."However, clause number 6 of the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas mentions, "The two sides agree that references to the line of actual control in this Agreement do not prejudice their respective positions on the boundary question".This is supposed to serve as a status quo maintained and respected by both the countries in the absence of agreement over a mutually drawn border. Notwithstanding the LAC, Chinese troops continue to make incursions to the disputed areas and illegally construct military infrastructure. India has been objecting to this "salami-slicing" repeatedly. What to expect in near future
India has secured its entire Eastern border in the months following the Galwan clash. Now, there is heavy Army deployment along with the movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state.With the aim to not allow PLA troops to take over any more territory on the Indian side of the LAC, the Army has also been upgrading its use of defence technology in the region. This likely means that the stand-off at Pangong Tso and other regions along the LAC will continue for a while dragging out into winters.The winter in the region is harsh given the high altitude and Army deployment comes at a huge cost of manpower and logistics.Indian Army has assured that it will hold the line even as China has shown no signs to cede in the face of international pressure it faces due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic has encouraged China to pose a strong front and has also engaged in aggravating disputes in the South China Sea. How did the ongoing border dispute start
The first melee was reported on May 5, 2020, with Indian and Chinese soldiers clashing at the northern beach of Pangang Tso, a lake in the Galwan Valley Ladakh, which is located near the India-China border with the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passing through it. Several soldiers were reported injured.The second clash took place within a week at the lake and more soldiers were reportedly injured as they fought with sticks, stones and indulged in arm-to-arm combat. Videos of this melee went viral on social media. These clashes culminated into the most deadly face-off India and China had witnessed in decades when on the intervening night of June 14-15, 2020, another fight broke out between the soldiers of the two sides that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers with several more fatalities on the Chinese side, the number of which Beijing till date has not confirmed.Following the June 14-15 clash, the border tensions between India and China escalated drastically as it led to a change in status-quo at the LAC. Part of a region that was on the Indian side was transgressed and taken over by China.Since the Galwan clash at the Pangong Lake, India and China have had a skirmish at several other locations along the Indo-Sino border like Hot Springs, Kungrang Nala, Gogra and DBO-Depsang areas in Ladakh; and in Sikkim as well. How is the de-escalation process coming along
Following the June skirmish, India and China have engaged in de-escalation talks at several levels. The two foreign ministers have had talks, Corps Commander-level officers have had at least three round of talks, other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have also been held but to an impasse.China continues to try to change the status quo at various locations along the LAC while India continues to push back.The most recent attempt by China came on August 31, to open a new front in the Chushul area when the rival brigade commanders were holding a flag meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the area where rival troops, tanks and other heavy weapon systems are ranged against each other.However, the August 31 attempt by PLA troops to unilaterally alter the status quo of the LAC was foiled this time by “defensive actions” undertaken by the Indian soldiers, said officials.Moreover, during late July and early August, reports emerged of People's Liberation Army (PLA) strengthening positions and accumulating troops at more locations other than Ladakh such as Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, parts of north Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. What triggered the Galwan clash
India's former ambassador to China, Ashok Kantha has said that these skirmishes were part of a growing Chinese assertiveness in both the Indo-China border and the South China sea. Researchers in the United States explain that China's territory grabbing technique involves encroaching upon small parts of enemy territory over a large period of time. Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain said that the skirmishes were post–Covid strategic messages from China to its neighbours which would make India prioritise the Himalayan sector over the maritime Indian Ocean region, a more vulnerable area for the Chinese.Raja Mohan, Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, wrote that the growing power imbalance between China and India is the main cause of the dispute. These skirmishes have also been linked by multiple people with the Chinese strategy of Five Fingers of Tibet. What is the cause of India and China's border disputes
India and China do not have a mutually recognised official border. Instead, what the two countries have is a 4,056 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).This LAC traverses Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side and on the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control."However, clause number 6 of the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas mentions, "The two sides agree that references to the line of actual control in this Agreement do not prejudice their respective positions on the boundary question".This is supposed to serve as a status quo maintained and respected by both the countries in the absence of agreement over a mutually drawn border. Notwithstanding the LAC, Chinese troops continue to make incursions to the disputed areas and illegally construct military infrastructure. India has been objecting to this "salami-slicing" repeatedly. What to expect in near future
India has secured its entire Eastern border in the months following the Galwan clash. Now, there is heavy Army deployment along with the movement of troops to the eastern district of Anjaw, in Arunachal Pradesh state.With the aim to not allow PLA troops to take over any more territory on the Indian side of the LAC, the Army has also been upgrading its use of defence technology in the region. This likely means that the stand-off at Pangong Tso and other regions along the LAC will continue for a while dragging out into winters.The winter in the region is harsh given the high altitude and Army deployment comes at a huge cost of manpower and logistics.Indian Army has assured that it will hold the line even as China has shown no signs to cede in the face of international pressure it faces due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic has encouraged China to pose a strong front and has also engaged in aggravating disputes in the South China Sea.

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