India-China Conflict: Impasse Drags On

While there has been no actual fighting between Indian and Chinese troops since the brutal Galwan Valley episode of 15 June 2020, there is no peace as yet either. China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has made it clear that it would not restore the status quo ante.


1 July 2020

Ladakh Border
High Mountains near the India-China Border landscape. Photo via Good Free Photos

While there has been no actual fighting between Indian and Chinese troops since the brutal Galwan Valley episode of 15 June 2020, there is no peace as yet either. China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has made it clear that it would not restore the status quo ante and would continue to occupy positions it has occupied in recent weeks.

Since the 15 June episode much has been written in the Indian media about how bravely unarmed Indian soldiers fought their Chinese counterparts who had come armed with metal rods and barbed wire clubs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that India has given a befitting response to those who dared to eye her territory in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today in his monthly radio address “Mann ki Baat” on 28 June.

Several rounds of meetings too have been held between the two militaries including one on 30 June. But nothing has succeeded in altering the military situation on the ground with the Chinese adamant on retaining their forward positions.

The 30 June meeting is reported to have lasted for 10 hours between the Corps level commanders of the two sides. The Indians challenged China's 'new claim lines' in the region and demanded restoration of status quo ante as well as immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and a number of other areas, according to news reports.

It is not known how the Chinese responded but of late there has been an enormous build up of Chinese troops and air assets in the region. India has sought to match Chinese deployment by bringing in additional infantry divisions, artillery and anti-aircraft missile systems.

Thus, Eastern Ladakh today is witnessing a military impasse with no signs of any pullback. This is a worrisome situation which could go out of hand at any time.

India’s Ambassador in Beijing Vikram Misri has said the only way to resolve the military standoff in eastern Ladakh was for Beijing to realise that trying to “change the status quo by resorting to force or coercion, is not the right way forward…” He said Chinese actions have damaged “considerable trust” in the bilateral relationship.

The Chinese appear to be unconcerned about India’s position and it is likely their stance will harden in the coming weeks.

Md Sadiq

1 July 2020

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