Chinese troops have bolstered their border control measures in the Galwan Valley in the Aksai Chin region of the Sino-India border, official media reported on Monday. The Chinese action followed “India’s recent, illegal construction of defence facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region”, a write-up in the state-run Global Times tabloid said, quoting unnamed military sources.
“Since early May, India has been crossing the boundary line in the Galwan Valley region and entering Chinese territory. The Indian side built defence fortifications and obstacles to disrupt Chinese border defence troops’ normal patrol activities,” the report claimed.
The development comes after around 250 Indian and Chinese army personnel clashed in Pangong Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh on May 5. Four days later, there was a similar face-off near Naku La Pass in North Sikkim.
Reacting to the two border incidents, India last week said it remained committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border with China noting that such incidents could have been avoided if there was a common perception about the frontier.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on May 14 that India and China attach utmost importance to ensuring peace and tranquillity in all areas of Sino-India border regions and referred to affirmation about it by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their two informal summits.
“Occasionally, however, on account of difference in perception of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the Line of Control (LAC),” he said.
The LAC is the de-facto border between the two nations. He further said, “The Indian side remains committed to the objective of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.”
When asked about the latest incidents, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane said the Indian troops were maintaining their “posture” along the border with China while infrastructure development in the areas was also on track.
“There were two incidents at Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim where aggressive behaviour by both sides resulted in minor injuries to troops post which both sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level,” he had said last week.
The recent border tensions on the Line of Actual Control following clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh, and Naku La pass in Sikkim can be seen as a reaction to India’s involvement with the nations supporting Taiwan’s recognition as a country which China denies vehemently.
India is holding talks with group of countries who are pushing for Taiwan’s attendance at World Health Assembly meeting as an observer nation, given its successful attempt at controlling the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The World Health Organisation will meet on May 18 to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and will hold a vote to determine whether to grant observer status to Taiwan at the World Health Assembly, its decision-making body.
The Indian Express reports, India’s recent talks with US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, who are signatories to a demarche, urging the World Health Organisation (WHO) to allow Taiwan to be admitted as an observer because its input will be “meaningful and important” has rattled China.