China and India have accused one another of provoking fighting during which a minimum of 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a disputed Himalayan area.
The Indian army said that each side suffered casualties, but there has been no word on numbers from China yet.Tuesday’s battle was reportedly fought with rocks and clubs. However, no shots were fired.
The Indian army said variety of its troops “were critically injured within the line of duty”.The statement goes on to notice that the injured soldiers were also “exposed to sub-zero temperatures within the high altitude terrain “.
Monday’s confrontation within the Ladakh region was the primary deadly clash within the border area in a minimum of 45 years.India said China had tried to “unilaterally change the status quo”. Beijing accused Indian troops of “attacking Chinese personnel”.
The two armies later held talks to undertake to defuse tensions.
Early on Tuesday, the Indian army said three of its soldiers had died during a clash in Ladakh, within the disputed Kashmir region.It later said that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured within the line of duty” and died from their injuries, taking the “total that were killed in action to 20”.
Both sides insist no bullet has been fired in four decades, and therefore the Indian army said on Tuesday that “no shots were fired” during this latest skirmish.How a clash that didn’t involve an exchange of fireside could prove so lethal is unclear, but local media outlets reported that the Indian soldiers had been “beaten to death”.
What have each side said about the incident?
India’s external affairs ministry accused China of breaking an agreement struck the previous week to respect the road of Actual Control (LAC). Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said the clash arose from “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo” on the border.
China didn’t confirm the amount of casualties, but accused India successively of crossing the border onto the Chinese side.”The arrogance and recklessness of the Indian side is that the main reason for the consistent tensions along China-India borders,” read an article within the Chinese state-run Global Times on Wednesday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet to publicly address the difficulty , something that was acknowledged by Rahul Gandhi, former leader of the opposition Indian National Congress party.The United Nations has urged each side “to exercise maximum restraint”.
“We take positive note of reports that the 2 countries have engaged to de-escalate things ,” UN associate spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.A US State Department spokesman, meanwhile, said it had been “closely monitoring” things which the US supports a peaceful resolution.
How tense is that the area?
The LAC is poorly demarcated. The presence of rivers, lakes and snowcaps means the road can shift. The soldiers either side – representing two of the world’s largest armies – come face-to-face at many points.
But there are tense confrontations along the border in recent weeks.India has accused China of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh’s Galwan valley and says China occupies 38,000sq km (14,700sq miles) of its territory. Several rounds of talks within the last three decades have did not resolve the boundary disputes.
The two countries have fought just one war thus far , in 1962, when India suffered a humiliating defeat.
In May, dozens of Indian and Chinese soldiers exchanged physical blows on the border within the north-eastern state of Sikkim. And in 2017, the 2 countries clashed within the region after China tried to increase a border road through a disputed plateau.
There are several reasons why tensions are rising now – but competing strategic goals lie at the basis , and each side blame one another .India has built a replacement road in what experts say is that the most remote and vulnerable area along the LAC in Ladakh. And India’s decision to build up infrastructure seems to possess infuriated Beijing.
The road could boost Delhi’s capability to maneuver men and materiel rapidly just in case of a conflict.India also disputes a part of Kashmir – an ethnically diverse Himalayan region covering about 140,000sq km – with Pakistan.
Source: bbc news