Galwan Valley: China to use martial art trainers after India border clash
China has said it is moving 20 martial art trainers to the Tibetan plateau to train its forces.
No official reason for the decision has been given, but it comes after at least 20 Indian troops were killed in clashes with Chinese border forces.
Under an agreement dating back to 1996, neither side carries guns or explosives in the area.
China has not released any information about its casualties, while India says 76 of its soldiers were injured.
News of the army’s new martial arts trainers was reported by official Chinese news outlets on 20 June, according to Hong Kong media.
State broadcaster CCTV said 20 fighters from the Enbo Fight Club would be based in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, although Chinese media had not confirmed they would be training troops on the border with India.
China and India – both nuclear powers – have exchanged blame over responsibility for the fighting in the Galwan river valley in Ladakhon on 15 June.
The area, with its harsh climate and high-altitude terrain, is close to Aksai Chin, a disputed area claimed by India but controlled by China.
The deaths during the fighting were the first fatalities in clashes between the two sides in almost half a century.
However, long-standing tensions between India and China over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the poorly demarcated border between the two nuclear-armed powers, had risen again in the weeks leading up to the incident.
If we cannot control attacks within our borders, what chance is there for us to be able to control attacks on our borders?
The Congress Party’s former president should have been more cautious before he made his ‘Surender Modi’ tweet. It did not take the Prime Minister long to hit back hard. Last week his government revealed that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted largesse from China in 2005 after which Sonia Gandhi’s government started showing unusual camaraderie with our old enemy. Concessions were made in matters of trade that benefited China more than India and the Gandhi family appeared to develop a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
The disclosure that the Dynasty’s personal foundation received $300,000 from the Chinese government in 2005 is truly damning. But, personally, I was not surprised. This is because when Sonia Gandhi was India’s unofficial prime minister and Rahul her designated heir, I noticed that they took a keen interest in closing down major projects that would have benefited India enormously but that China clearly did not like. One example will suffice.
If Vedanta had not been stopped from refining bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills, because of the personal intervention of Rahul Gandhi, Odisha may today have been the world’s centre for aluminium production. Anil Agarwal, who invested more than Rs 11,000 crore in the Lanjigarh refinery, has said more than once that the international price of aluminium would have come down by half if the refinery had been allowed to mine bauxite in the surrounding hills. And, Jayanthi Natarajan has publicly admitted that she was ordered to close this project, and other major projects, by Sonia Gandhi.
China knows that India will only match its might if it succeeds in building an economy as powerful. In the decade before Sonia became India’s de facto leader, we were beginning to get there. The Indian economy was booming. This is because Atal Bihari Vajpayee continued the process initiated by P V Narasimha Rao to dismantle the awful licence raj. So, our private sector companies began to compete with the best. It was around 2006, as I remember, that the dead hand of the government reappeared and manifested itself through the Ministry of Environment. People like me supported Modi in the hope that he would unshackle the economy and bring back real growth. Sadly, he has turned out to be a socialist and a central planner and the economy was already in serious trouble before the Chinese virus hit.
It is my considered opinion that a powerful economy is our greatest weapon against both our main enemies. China is ruled by a totalitarian dictator who knows this well. So he got the Dynasty to submit and then lulled Modi into a false sense of security by agreeing to all those picturesque but futile summits. At that first one, even as he shared a Gujarati swing with Modi, Chinese troops entered Ladakh for what then seemed like a picnic. They now come with much more ugly intentions. It is unfortunate that our response has so far been surprise and not strategy.
India waits for China’s PLA to disengage at Ladakh, says won’t allow a ‘new normal’
Border tensions in East Ladakh have come down a notch with India waiting for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to fulfil its June 6 commitment of de-escalating and disengaging its troops along the 1,597 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector.
While the two armies are locked in a forward military posture in the Ladakh sector, reports of some lowering of tensions from two out of four standoff points are trickling in despite both the sides continuing to remain in high military alert.
“The border situation continues to be dynamic and it is for the PLA to restore status quo ante after it unilaterally tried to change the ground situation over the last month in violation with the existing agreements and confidence building measures,” said a senior official.
The Narendra Modi government is very clear that the PLA does not establish a new normal on the LAC and wants it to go back to its earlier positions for peace and tranquility to prevail on the border and for bilateral ties to be restored. It is also watching the time taken by the PLA to restore status quo ante as anything less would be an exercise in perfidy.
Both the sides are engaged in a dialogue through diplomatic and military channels with India looking at physical verification of the PLA withdrawal before coming out with any positive statement. With the Darbuk-Shyok Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road complete, Indian Army engineers are now connecting patrolling posts with roads so that the capacity and capability of troops to respond to any unilateral action from across the border rises manifold.
With China deploying surface-to-air missiles in Aksai Chin in May, the Indian side has also responded in the same fashion with long-range weapons placed all along the 3,488 km LAC. Besides China, the Indian Army is also watching the Pakistani posture in occupied Gilgit-Baltistan.
Although many a western strategists have stated that India will take help of its key ally US in case the red flag goes up, the mood in the Narendra Modi government is to go solo with sufficient force deployed to repel any action of the adversary. The Indian military is deployed in air, land and at sea with submarines patrolling the deep ocean and ready for any deterrent action.
However, national security planners are confident that better sense will prevail over PLA Commander-in-Chief Xi Jinping and Western Theatre Commander Zhao Zongqi as no conflict is one sided.
Pakistani airbases in PoK under India’s radar after China’s air activity increases along LAC
Pakistani airbases in PoK are under India’s radar after a Chinese refueller aircraft landed in Skardu last week. Chinese air activity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh has also increased.
According to a report by ET, limited activity has been observed at the Skardu airbase and this comes after an IL 78 tanker of the PLAAF landed there a few days ago, apart from some Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft.
Tensions between India and China have increased manifolds after 20 Indian Army personnel were martyred during an ambush by the PLA. During the violent skirmish, PLA soldiers also died but Communist China, which is notorious for suppressing and censoring information, did not release the number fearing backlash from the public.
India deploys Akash missile defense system in Ladakh
Both sides have amassed troops along the LAC with the Indian Air Force (IAF) deploying its frontline fighters and other assets along the border.
Earlier today, it was reported that air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force were deployed along the border to thwart any Chinese misadventure.
Increased PLAAF activity along LAC
As per the ET report, the PLAAF runs and operates several airbases in and around Tibet, with Hotan housing the highest number of combat assets. However, due to its location at an altitude higher than 4,000 feet, it is extremely tough for “fighters to take off with a full weapons load and fuel.”
Skardu airbase was upgraded last year by Pakistan and in it was used by Pakistani JF 17s on their way to the PLAAF base at Hotan for a joint exercise.