A day after inconclusive talks over the face-off in eastern Ladakh, a Major General of the Indian Army is holding talks with Chinese military officers at Galwan valley. The talks being held are in the area where violent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers took place on Monday night. 20 soldiers including a Colonel gave their lives for India, while Army sources have said they believe some 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
At the moment, there are no signs of the Chinese disengaging from the area, sources said. The area is close to the Line of Actual Control or LAC between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
China overran Indian posts in this area in the 1962 war, but since then has not frequently patrolled this area and has not asserted any territorial claims. They now lay claim to the entire Galwan valley, which places them in a direct stand-off with the Indian Army.
Chinese soldiers took “pre-meditated and planned action” that was directly responsible for Monday’s clash at Galwan valley, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told his China counterpart Wang Yi in a phone conversation on Wednesday.
Amidst the Chinese incursion into Indian territories in Ladakh, an influential US think-tank has said that China’s “immediate goal” in South Asia is to limit any “defiance” from India and hinder its burgeoning partnership with the US.
The report titled ‘A Global Survey of US-China Competition in the Coronavirus Era’ by the Hudson Institute also noted that China’s deep partnership with Pakistan and close relationship with Sri Lanka are critical to Beijing’s plans for dominating the region.
Earlier, In his first remarks on the border clash between soldiers of the Indian and Chinese army in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today India wanted peace but was capable of giving a befitting reply if provoked. With these words, the prime minister tried to reassure the country that the government was taking steps to protect India’s sovereignty and also delivered a stern message to Beijing.
The prime minister said India had always promoted peace among nations, PM Modi said before beginning his exchanges with chief ministers via video conference on the COVID pandemic. While India has retaliated to Chinese aggression, Modi started his address with a reference to the border clash in Galwan Valley that cost the lives of 20 Indian soldiers.
The prime minister briefed the chief ministers and the country about the escalation. In a reference to other powers in the world, Modi said nobody would be allowed to stop India from retaliation if someone targeted the country’s sovereignty.
Saying that India’s constant effort has been that differences should not become disputes, the prime minister reminded China’s President Xi Jinping of their meeting and the agreement the two leaders had reached.