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India-China confrontation: New Delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops

12:03 | 26/06/2020

Amid India -China tension, India acknowledged for the first time that it had deployed its troops on the same number of Chinese troops in the disputed Himalayan border area, after a clash between the two sides on June 25.

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india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
Soldiers and vehicles of the two countries were still moved to disputed frontier area in Arunachal Pradesh - (Photo: PTI)

The Indian Foreign Ministry has accused China of creating tensions by starting deploying its troops, and warned that relations between the world's two most populous countries could be weakened if confrontation continues.

Through India and China, there was a fierce confrontation in the disputed border area. After that, although the commanders of both sides reached an agreement to "cool down", a large number of soldiers and vehicles of the two countries were still here.

China moved thousands of troops, artillery and armored vehicles to a new disputed north area of Ladakh, according to Indian government sources.

The Indian military said Chinese troops from the night of June 24 had withdrawn from the Galwan valley and Pangong Tso lake under a bilateral stress reduction deal. However, Chinese military forces have been strengthened in the Depsang plains, north of Ladakh, another hotspot for disputes between the two countries, an Indian government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some days ago.

india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
Chinese soldiers boarded a plane to the northwestern plateau on June 6. Photo: CCTV.

The two neighbors blamed each other for the June 15 clash in Ladakh region that killed 20 Indian soldiers, while China did not disclose the casualties. But Indian Transport Minister V.K.Singh said the number of Chinese soldiers killed was at least double (40) of India's.

india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
India will allow battlefield commanders to approve the use of guns in 'unusual' situations during the LAC clashes with China. (Photo snapped on You Tube)

China's Foreign Ministry on June 23 dismissed reports of Indian media that at least 40 Chinese soldiers were killed in clashes with Indian soldiers in the Galwan valley on June 15. They called this "fake news," according to the South China Morning Post.

"I can take responsibility to tell you that this is fake news," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lian Jian told reporters.

The India Times on June 23 reported that China had confirmed that two officers, one of whom was a commanding officer, were killed in a clash in the Galwan valley on June 15.

According to India Times, the Chinese side confirmed this information right after the incident but until now it was notified. Earlier, in the June 18 issue of the Times, India quoted an intelligence source disclosing the above information.

india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
Exhaust from an army truck covers engulfs an environmentalist sign. Photo: the diplomat

Although both sides said they wanted to reduce the escalation of territorial confrontation, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, "both sides continue to deploy large numbers in the region, while Military and diplomatic contacts are continuing. "

India changed its response rules at the border, allowing troops to fire if needed

india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
India changed its response rules at the border, allowing troops to fire if needed. Photo: AFP

The Straits Times reported on June 22 that the Indian government had modified the rules of the army's reaction rules at the border, allowing soldiers to fire if necessary.

Earlier, Indian soldiers strictly adhered to the agreement with China signed in 1996, stipulating that neither party could fire within an area of 2 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the borderline delimitation of two parties' control areas in disputed areas.

According to the Straits Times, the new decision was made by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh during a border inspection with Chief of Staff Bipin Rawat and military commanders on June 21.

Galwan Valley: Satellite images 'show China structures' on India border

China has built new structures near the site of a Himalayan border clash that left 20 Indian troops dead earlier this month, fresh satellite images suggest.

Bunkers, tents and storage units for military hardware are visible in an area where last month there were none. Fighting between the nuclear-armed powers over their disputed frontier has prompted alarm. Chinese casualties were also reported but not confirmed. The latest images were published as the sides hold talks to defuse tensions.

The fresh satellite images, dated 22 June, are from space technology company Maxar. The structures which appear to have been built by China overlooking the Galwan River were not visible in aerial photographs earlier in June, the Reuters reported.

india china confrontation new delhi admits deploying troops with the same number of opponent troops
Ajai Shukla, a leading Indian defence analyst, tweeted that "there is a large Chinese camp in the Galwan Valley, 1.5km into the Indian side of the LAC [Line of Actual Control]".

On June 22, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his counterparts in Russia and China. "Respecting international law, recognizing the legitimate interests of our partners, supporting multilateralism and promoting common interests ars the only ways to build a sustainable world order," he said.

The fact that China and India have continuously sent healing signals for many days clearly demonstrating the determination to "cool the hot heads of the two Asian giants" to avoid being pushed into a full crisis face. This not only helps to ensure stability in the region, but also to maintain the "China-India" neighbor increasingly being bound by the close economic-trade relationship established over the years of century. China is now India's second largest trading partner after the US, while India is an important source of Chinese science and technology.

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