LIVE: India, China armies 'hold talks' in disputed Ladakh region

7 months ago 49
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The Indian army says none of its soldiers is missing following the "violent face-off" with Chinese troops, according to a report by India's ANI news agency.

Indian and Chinese army officers are reportedly holding talks to end the deadly standoff in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

India is holding funerals for the 20 soldiers killed in the brawl with Chinese troops on Monday, the deadliest in decades.

The border tension with China has become Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's most serious foreign policy challenge since he took power in 2014.

Here are the latest updates:

11:11 GMT - Indian army says 'no soldier in Chinese custody'

The Indian army has said none of its soldiers is missing following the "violent face-off" with Chinese troops on Monday night, India's ANI news agency citing sources in the army said.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and four others critically wounded in the hand-to-hand combat in a disputed frontier area in Indian-administered Ladakh region. China has not yet disclosed if it suffered any casualties.

"It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action: Indian Army sources," said a tweet by ANI.

10:49 GMT - Indians burn portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping

Indians have burned portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping as anger grew over the brutal hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the disputed mountainous border region.

Residents in the northern city of Kanpur held a mock funeral of Xi and burned his portrait, shouting anti-China slogans. In the eastern Indian city of Cuttack, an effigy of Xi and a Chinese flag were burned.

China's Oppo cancelled the live online launch of its flagship smartphone as calls for boycott of Chinese products gained traction across India.

10:28 GMT - Project Force: What is behind China's naval ambitions?

The Chinese navy, or the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy), now has two fully-functioning aircraft carriers, the Soviet-era Liaoning and the new, domestically-built Shandong.

While seriously enhancing China's ability to project combat power beyond its own coastline, they are also being used to train cadres of naval officers and pilots in the complex business of efficiently running aircraft carrier groups.

Rapidly developing this body of expertise is no easy feat but President Xi Jinping has big plans.

Read more here.

Let us get the facts straight.

All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs.

— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) June 18, 2020 10:09 GMT - China says it agreed to 'cooling down' at border

China says it has agreed to a "cooling down" of tensions along its border with India following a fatal clash there earlier this week.

"The two sides agreed to deal fairly with the serious events caused by the conflict in the Galwan Valley," said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a news conference.

He said that the two nations would "abide by the consensus reached at the meeting of the military commanders of the two countries" and "maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas".

09:45 GMT - Global Times column invokes China's Bollywood ties

Responding to a call across India to boycott Chinese products, a columnist in pro-Beijing Global Times says such moves are "irrational" and may have "unpredictable consequences" for China-India relations.

Columnist Ai Pang wrote that relations between the two Asian powers have been "growing closer and closer through hit Bollywood films" released in China.

"It's hard to believe that these hateful comments and opinions from some Indian netizens on social media platforms like Twitter are coming from the country shown in movies such as Dangal [Wrestling Competition], Secret Superstar and Hindi Medium, which depicts the people of the country as honest, friendly and modest," Ai said.

It's hard to believe that hateful calls to 'boycott #China' on Twitter are coming from the same #India shown in movies such as #Dangal, #SecretSuperstar and #HindiMedium, which depicts the people of the country as honest, friendly and modest.

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 18, 2020 09:01 GMT - Families of fallen Indian soldiers demand justice 

The Indian army has begun handing over the bodies of the soldiers killed by Chinese troops in the disputed Galwan Valleyin - the worst clash in over half a century between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Indian soldiers who survived the clash said the Chinese used bamboo sticks studded with nails during the confrontation in sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain, while the Indians used stones and sticks.

Under an agreement forged in the 1990s, the two armies carry but do not use arms near the border.

India China families

The father and mother of Indian army's Colonel B Santosh Babu, who was killed in border clashes with Chinese troops, sit next to his portrait, in Suryapet in Telangana state [Reuters]

China said its troops were engaged in a "violent physical confrontation" with Indian soldiers, but has given no details on casualties.

Families of the fallen Indian soldiers and other citizens demanded Modi find diplomatic and strategic ways to punish China.

07:45 GMT - India 'deliberately provoked' Ladakh clash: China

China's foreign ministry has accused India of "deliberately provoking and attacking" Chinese troops during Monday's "violent face-off" in the disputed Ladakh region.

"Indian front-line troops broke the consensus and crossed the Line of Actual Control, deliberately provoking and attacking Chinese officers and soldiers, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties," Hua Chunying, ministry spokesperson tweeted.

"India must not misjudge the current situation or underestimate China's firm will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty," she posted.

06:40 GMT - India, China army officers hold talks: Report

Top Indian and Chinese military officers are holding talks in the disputed Galwan Valley to find a resolution to their month-long standoff, India's NDTV network has reported.

The first round of talks held on Wednesday following the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops on Monday had remained inconclusive.

Galwan Valley, which lies along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in eastern Indian-administered Ladakh, is claimed by both nations.

The nail-studded rods — captured by Indian soldiers from the Galwan Valley encounter site — with which Chinese soldiers attacked an Indian Army patrol and killed 20 Indian soldiers.

Such barbarism must be condemned. This is thuggery, not soldiering

— Ajai Shukla (@ajaishukla) June 18, 2020 06:29 GMT - India prepares to hold funerals for soldiers killed in border clash

Families across India are preparing to hold funerals for some of the 20 soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the disputed mountainous border region.

Dozens of people lined the street in the southern town of Suryapet as the body of army Colonel B Santosh Babu was brought home, wrapped in the Indian flag.

Funerals will be held for other soldiers in their hometowns and villages, including several in the eastern state of Bihar.

India funeral

A truck carrying the coffin of Indian army officer Colonel B Santosh Babu arrives in Suryapet, about 140km from Hyderabad [Mahesh Kumar A/AP]

06:01 GMT - India to share UNSC table with China

The UN General Assembly has elected India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland as the four non-permanent members of the Security Council for 2021 and 2022.

The result means India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations traded blame for a brawl along the disputed Himalayan border that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

India - which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council - ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.

05:47 GMT - BJP leaders call for boycott of Chinese goods

Hardline nationalist groups tied to Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have stepped up calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and cancellation of contracts with Chinese firms.

"In the current situation, the China issue should not be taken lightly… In many cases, there may be Chinese money invested, but I think the regular things we buy from the market, one should certainly make sure that we avoid Chinese products," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Economic Times newspaper.

The minister also called for a boycott of Chinese food. "Restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned. I appeal to people to boycott Chinese food," he told the local ANI news agency.

#WATCH Bihar: Jan Adhikar Party Chief Pappu Yadav climbs a JCB machine in Patna to blacken banner of a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer.

— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2020

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said the government will "honour the sentiments" of Indians who want economic measures to be taken "at another level".

"We import chemicals, mobile phone parts and buttons. Are they so essential to be imported? They can be manufactured in India. We should reduce imports from other coutries but especifically from China. If people want to boycott Chinese products, we respect their sentiments," he told ANI.

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