Tensions high between India and China after clash along contested border
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The possibility of a wider armed conflict between India and China is unlikely, analysts said, despite an escalation in recent border clashes high in the Himalayas that led to casualties for the first time in more than four decades.
India’s foreign ministry said a “violent face-off” occurred on Monday evening along the border in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, where soldiers from both sides have been locked in a standoff since last month. Senior army officials from both sides met on June 6 in efforts to de-escalate the situation.
“On the late-evening and night of 15th June, 2020 a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side,” Anurag Srivastava, official spokesperson for the Indian foreign ministry, said.
The Indian army said in a statement that 20 of its soldiers were killed and that troops from both sides have now disengaged. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army said Indian border troops “reneged on their commitments” and “seriously violated agreements and protocols” on border issues between the two sides.
China’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that Beijing does not want to see any more clashes on the border with India and that both nations are trying to resolve the situation through dialogue, Reuters reported. The foreign ministry spokesman reiterated that China is not to be blamed for the clash, the news wire added.
Both countries are in “close communication on resolving relevant issues,” Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times tweeted, citing the Chinese foreign ministry.
The clash was unexpected given that the two sides were having serious dialogue about disengagement, said Harsh V. Pant, head of the strategic studies program at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
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