Months after Galwan clash, fresh tension in Eastern Ladakh
On the intervening night of August 29 and 30, the Indian Army, in a statement, said that it thwarted another mischievous attempt by China's People's Liberation Army to change the status quo in Eastern Ladakh. The fresh skirmish was reported months after the violent face-off at the Galwan Valley in mid-June. 20 Indian soldiers were martyred then, in the worst stand-off since the 1962 Indo-China war.
As per Army's statement, the PLA troops "violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing stand-off in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo." Notably, the aggression happened at the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake. Their attempts were successfully thwarted by the Indian troops, the statement disclosed.
While the Indian Army wants peace to be maintained through dialogue, it is "also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity," the statement asserted. Further, it was revealed that a Brigade Commander level flag meeting was underway at Chusul to resolve the differences.
To recall, tensions between India and China have been simmering since April, as Beijing saw New Delhi's infrastructure push along the terrain as "trespassing." The situation nosedived on June 15, when rather than retreating to its original posts, PLA attacked Indian soldiers at the Galwan Valley, with rods and stones. Indian Army responded aptly but China refused to acknowledge the number of its casualties.
After the bloody episode, both India and China launched dialogue to resolve the differences. High-ranked military officers, External Affairs Ministers, and Special Representatives for Border Talks from both countries held meetings for the same. In fact, last month, after NSA Ajit Doval spoke to China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, PLA went back by at least one kilometer, but no welcome development happened post that.
To send out a message that India would not bow down to Chinese aggression, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ladakh, giving a rousing speech to those defending the borders. He also praised the valor of soldiers in his Independence Day speech, slamming the "expansionist forces" for eyeing India's territory. Separately, China maintained it was eager to resolve the differences through talks.