New Delhi, June 7 (The Hindu): Indian and Chinese Army commanders agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements, says Ministry of External Affairs.
Talks between Indian and Chinese Army commanders were held on June 6 in a “cordial and positive” atmosphere, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here on June 7.
The Indian delegation was led by Lt.Gen.Harinder Singh, GOC 14 th.Corps based in Leh in Ladakh and the Chinese delegation by the Commander of the South Xinjiang Military District Maj.Gen.Lin Liu. The meeting took place in the Maldo-Chusul region.
In a release indicating that the government was still hopeful of a resolution to the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the MEA said that both sides had “maintained communications” through diplomatic and military channels in recent weeks, and called for an “early resolution”.
“A meeting was held between the Corps Commander based in Leh and the Chinese Commander on 6 June, 2020 in the Chushul-Moldo region,” said the MEA statement, referring to talks that lasted several hours, but were inconclusive on Saturday.
“It took place in a cordial and positive atmosphere. Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquility in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations,” the MEA said.
Tensions between the two sides have lasted more than a month, and serious skirmishes between the Indian Army and PLA soldiers were reported at several points of the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim since May 5, where China is understood to have made significant incursions, and the Indian Army has also bolstered its positions.
In its release, the MEA said that the two sides would continue diplomatic and military engagements to resolve the “situation”, without elaborating on developments on the ground.
“Both sides also noted that this year marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and agreed that an early resolution would contribute to the further development of the relationship,” the MEA statement added.
Bharat Shakti adds: About 1000 to 1200 troops from either side have been facing each other from a safe distance at Galwan and Finger 4 areas in Ladakh since May 9-10. Indian news reports said that Chinese troops had intruded quite deeply apparently to stop a new road construction over territory which both China and India claim.
The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India–China Border Affairs, established in 2012, has been used to defuse the situation which could have led to war if the Indian media’s provocative demands had been taken seriously by the Narendra Modi government. But fortunately, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Commander Gen.M.M.Naravane were silent, with Rajnath Singh merely saying that the unmarked border could lead to such incursions and that such issues would be settled through talks.
Since 2013, at least half a dozen ‘large’ and prolonged face to face deployments have taken place, making it an average of one a year every year, Bharat Shakti says.
“At Galwan I Ladakh, China felt India crossed the line by trying to build a feeder road to supplement the Dorbuk-Shyok-DBO road completed last year and thereby change the long agreed status quo, a charge that India firmly rejected. Enraged by India’s action, the Chinese brought over 500 troops in the area, a figure matched by India since then.”
“A similar situation prevails in the Finger 4 area, off the Pangang Tao, where a violent skirmish—without arms—took place on May 5 and 6 between soldiers on either side. The trouble, informed sources said, began on the evening of May 5 as the Chinese side objected to India beginning to build a shelter for soldiers in the area. Fisticuffs and jostling followed. Almost 300-400 soldiers spread over a km long frontage continued to exchange blows until night fell,” Bharat Shakti said.
While the political leaderships in Delhi and Beijing observed restraint to the point of observing stony silence, the Indian media (to a large extent) and the Chinese media (to a lesser extent) went ballistic. The former urged war and the latter warned of an Indian defeat as in 1962.
“China’s President Xi Jinping has stabbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the back,” wrote retired Lt.Gen.S.C.Katoch in The Citizen. “ We failed to read the character of Xi Jinping (satanic version of Mao Zhedong) and the Chinese Communist Party (akin to Hitler’s Third Reich). We fail to acknowledge that China isn’t interested in resolving the border, but to keep India under pressure as it keeps extending claim-lines – as done now with the argument that the PLA is in Chinese territory and India is the aggressor.”
“Over the years, China has been intruding and occupying patches of our territory without a firm response by us. What is the limit beyond which we will not compromise or are we incapable of doing so? Multiple reasons are cited to explain current PLA intrusions but the stark reality is both China and Pakistan respect power. If we want to browbeat PLA we need to be constantly aggressive and have the big fist ready,” Katoch said.
According to Daily Express: There has been a consistent demand in the Indian mainstream and social media for a boycott of Chinese products which have flooded the Indian market. An app in India called “Remove China Apps” is reportedly able to delete Chinese-developed apps from Indians’ smartphones. According to Global Times, the software, developed by Indian startup OneTouch AppLabs, had seen some 1 million downloads in the two weeks since its launch in the Google Play Store on May 17.
But boycotting Chinese products is not easier said than done, Global Times points out. Indian companies producing bulletproof jackets get raw material from China because it is cheaper. China makes US$1 million from Tik Tok alone every day. Four of the top five smartphone brands in the Indian market are from China, with Xiaomi leading the market with a 30% share in terms of shipments in the first quarter of 2020, data from market research firm Counterpoint Research showed. In India’s premium smartphone market, OnePlus remained the No.1 brand in 2019. Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent analyst, told the Global Times that Modi’s “Made in India” initiative cannot survive without economic and trade ties with China.