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Inside The India-China Deadliest Faceoff in Decades

The two nuclear-armed countries, India-China have been in the dispute for a long time, but now the dispute has taken a deadly turn. On Monday the deadliest faceoff in 45 years between the two-nation took place at Galway Valley; an extremely in-hostile place; during the clash, the temperature was below -10 degrees centigrade.

In the faceoff, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives while 4 with serious bruises, whereas China is still silent about its true loss in the clash. The most unusual thing about the faceoff is that no bullets were fired, the fight was fought with barbaric weapons. But 20 deaths without any arms make this face-off far more brutal than any fought with rifles and guns.

The India-China situation might be more serious than assumed

20 martyrs in a small clash are definitely not representing affable politesse between the world’s two largest populous countries. This incident has become the headline of every newspaper, not only in the two countries but in the entire world. So undoubtedly the condition at the India-China border is very serious.

The last death reported on the Sino-India border was in 1975 in Arunachal Pradesh, India. After the India-China war in 1962 the second time, these many people have lost their lives. One real and deadly fight took place between the two armies took place at Nathu La in Sikkim, in 1967; in the incident, more than 300 Chinese soldiers and 88 Indian soldiers were killed.

Despite all these incidents, from 1993 onwards India and China signed various agreements for sake of maintaining tranquility and peace on the Sino-India border. For more than 45 years both countries have successfully maintained peace.

The last time both armies were standing against each other was in 2017, in Doklam Bhutan. But in that standoff, no casualties were reported and both the nations settle their disputes on their own.

Monday, 15 June 2020 Galway Valley, Leh India

For the past few weeks, India and China were not on good terms. Chinese and Indian both armies have been deploying war equipment in the disputed area. This faceoff is not the only clash, Between May 5-8, two skirmishes have taken place between the two mega armies.

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On 6 June meeting at the commanding level took place for negotiation. In the meeting both the armies agreed to the de-escalation process. As in the meeting for avoiding further faceoffs, a buffer zone was created on the Line of Actual Control (LAC); at the intersection of the Galway and Shyok rivers. For the first step of the negotiation, both the Indian and Chinese armies moved a kilometer back from the buffer zone.

Colonel B Santosh Babu, the Indian Colonel who has been commanding all the process; saw Chinese camps still present in the buffer zone. The conversation took a violent turn and the output is on the top of every newspaper, the next morning.

The reason for India-China faceoffs

The Indo-China border is defined by the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which is not demarcated unlike other borders, which creates tension between the two countries.

The perception of both countries about the LAC is the root cause of continuous disputes between India and China. Due to the claim on LAC, an overlapping territory is built between the two nations.

The area represented by grey color on the map is known as the ‘area of differing perceptions (ADPA)’. The entire clashes of the two armies today are happening in three different locations one of which is the Pangong Lake, Ladakh. This lake is 130 km in length and 5 Km wide. 60% of this lake falls under Chinese territory and LAC also passes between this lake.

No Chinese 'occupation'. Geolocated images show fast in-and-out ...

In the Picture, a number of pointed edges on the bank of the river can be seen. These edges are known as fingers and so are numbered. India claims Finger 8 to be the LAC while China says its Finger 2. the area between Figer 2 and Finger 8 is the ADPA area.

But the incursions taking place today is not from a single place but from three i.e. Pangong Lake, Hot Springs near Kongka Pass, and the place where the most deadly faceoff took place Galwan Valley river.

According to Lt. Gen H S Panag now the condition is that China has occupied the area between Finger 4 and Finger 8. The intrusion happened at Galway Valley, where there is no ADPA but a clear line border. Therefore here China has clearly stepped into India’s area where this brutal faceoff took place.

What now?

Both nations have tried to settle the dispute at the commander level but clearly, after these incidents, it has to take a back seat.

But the intrusion is likely to have some dynamics of its own. Now if the conflicts between both armies happen they might not sustain in one single location but throughout the Sino-India border. The Indian’s evolving rage against China might heighten the tension furthermore. Before taking any furious action it is important for both China and India to read the fine print of the consequences of standing at the cross purposes.

The two nuclear-armed nations are still trying to resolve the issue at the diplomatic level. The matter is hot and in the world’s eye so both nations would; without a shadow of a doubt do their best to resolve the dispute peacefully.