While the nation is battling a silent enemy in the form of a virus, Covid-19, and the economy is taking a huge fall, another uninvited danger surrounds the security of our nation, threatening the life of our army personnel. The recent conflict between the Chinese and Indian army in the Galwan Valley made headlines following the reported martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers, critically injuring 17 others while several were held captive.
The Galwan Valley clash that took place on 15th June’20 was said to be initiated by the Indian troops when they provocatively violated the guidelines of LAC by “attacking the Chinese officers and soldiers”. However, the truth seems to be far from it. As reported by the locals, it was the Chinese army’s attempt to gain control across the LAC and the current attack has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The incident is considered as the biggest confrontation between the two militaries since the Sino-India war of 1967 where India lost 88 soldiers and 340 personnel of the Chinese army were killed.
The History behind Indo-China Clash
Dated back to September 1967, a war broke out between India and China over their contested border in Himalayas leading to the deaths of over 400 soldiers in total on both ends. The war ended with a truce and formation of a de facto boundary– Line of Actual Control, commonly known as LAC.
Since then, there have been a number of skirmishes between the two on the border causing an uneasy and fragile peace. While both the countries have established control over the territory via heavy military guarding, they have also built roads, telephone lines, airstrips, etc., to win over the locals to acclaim the entire Himalayas. Currently, China has claimed over ninety thousand square kilometre in the eastern Himalayas and thirty eight thousand square kilometre in the west.
What is LAC?
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a loose demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory in the Sino-Indian border dispute.
The conflict between India and China, being nuclear powers, is not only panning out to be one of the deadliest ones but also an enormous geopolitical consequence for the world. Tensions spread across the two countries in late April when Chinese troops were sent to the disputed territory bringing artillery and vehicles. The fire caught a stronger wind when the Indian government inaugurated the LipuLekh pass, linking Dharchula and Lipulekh, on which the Communist Party of Nepal had expressed dissent. The current party of Nepal has shown inclination towards China on several occasions which not only puts the security of the locals at risk but also that of the army personnel guarding the borders.
The Next Step
With the ruckus around the conflict and the fear of another Indo-China war emerging, the Chinese government has shown inclination towards a private summit with India to measure the possible solutions to the problems. In a televised statement on Friday, PM Narendra Modi said that India’s armed forces had been “given a free hand to take all necessary steps” to protect Indian Territory. “The entire country is hurt and angry at the steps taken by China,” he said, adding: “India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost.” Meanwhile, Indians have shown their anger by resenting the use of all Chinese products including mobile phones, clothing, apps, etc.