Minister of state for road transport and highways and former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General VK Singh said the latest transgression by China into Indian territory has created a trust deficit. He also said war is the last resort, but there are many ways, including an economic boycott that can be an apt response to China.
VK Singh said, It is firmly in control of the Indian troops. There are no intrusions. There are transgressions, not intrusions. Where PP 14 is concerned, there is no intrusion whatsoever. Where PP 15 area is concerned, every year they have been trying to transgress and every year we push them to go back.
Where Pangong Tso is concerned, this is not just a yearly feature, but happens in the summer and sometimes in the winter also. These have been happening, the only difference this time is that the transgression has involved a certain amount of stealth in the Pangong Tso area, they’ve done things which they have never done earlier, he added.
In the first combat fatalities in 45 years along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), 20 Indian soldiers were killed when they were attacked by Chinese troops in Galwan valley during the “de-escalation” process on Monday night.
PLA’s (People’s Liberation Army) Western Theatre Command spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili said on Tuesday that the clash in Galwan valley had led to casualties on both sides but so far China has not revealed its casualty numbers.
The LAC is an interpretation from a map given in 1959 and the Chinese keep advancing some claim or the other. The LAC is not marked on the ground, there is no agreement on it. There is a certain amount of flexibility that exists out there. But there are places where both sides know their sides and ensure these are protected. Where there is no man’s land, which comes up because of these perceptional differences, is where these patrol face-offs take place.
The PMO issued the clarification that with regard to LAC transgression, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June “arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions.”
The statement further said the focus of Modi’s remarks were the events of 15 June at Galwan that led to the loss of lives of 20 soldiers. The statement clarifed that his observations that there was no Chinese presence on ‘our side’ of the LAC “pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces”, and added that the sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment “foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day.”
Soon after Modi’s comments, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed on Twitter that “Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the LAC in the west section of the China-India boundary.” “For many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling and on duty in this region”, he said.