A view of the Pangong Tso lake which lies at the heart of India-China border dispute in Ladakh.
NEW DELHI: The second Major-General level talks between India and China held on Thursday went for over six hours and remained inconclusive. The talks came following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the June 15 violent faceoff between India and China border troops in Galwan Valley, Ladakh. While there is no official confirmation of casualties on Chinese side, various Indian intercepts have revealed that China suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured.
Here are the latest developments:
Two round of Major-General level talks held; remain inconclusive
The two round of talks held on Wednesday and Thursday between Major Generals of India and China at the disputed side in Galwan Valley have continued to remain inconclusive with situation unchanged on the ground. The disputed site is now under heavy military deployment. While India has demanded for a return to the status quo before the June 15 clash, China has continued to claim sovereignty over the Valley.
China’s Galwan claim will hurt de-escalation process: India
After China claimed sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, India warned Beijing on Thursday that making “exaggerated and untenable” claims was contrary to the June 6 understanding between senior military commanders for de-escalation and disengagement along the Line of Actual Control even as the Chinese foreign ministry repeated its accusation that Indian troops crossed the line. The Indian government recalled that both sides had agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner and that the June 6 understanding would be implemented sincerely.
Troops were armed but didn’t fire: Government
Indian soldiers at the face-off site on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were armed but according to previous agreements between India and China, did not use weapons, foreign minister S Jaishankar said in a comeback to Congress’s Rahul Gandhi questioning why the soldiers were unarmed. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said in a TV interview, “Can’t send unarmed soldiers to fight with stones, send RSS workers with lathis”. On social media, there were calls to let Indian troops use firearms in Galwan-like situations.
Some in forces favour ‘limited action’ to send message to China
There is a strong view within the armed forces that India should explore the option of a ‘limited’ military action in response to China’s continuing belligerence and military build-up along the unresolved border in eastern Ladakh. The votaries of a muscular response, however, acknowledge that the final call will need to be political and be based on a complex matrix of considerations.
India's military options against China
The military options range from forcibly evicting soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from what India considers to be its territory and securing the heights to even a ‘calibrated conflict’ — like the 1999 Kargil one with Pakistan — in conjunction with political, diplomatic and economic measures, according to some high-ranking officers in the forces.
India looks to wall off market from China
In a move to whittle down the share of Chinese goods and companies in the Indian market, the government is looking to fast-track several decisions, including putting in place domestic standards to check cheap imports, apart from restricting the award of contracts in projects being executed by the Centre and the states.