India Chinese border tensions: Defense minister reveals large movements of Chinese troops

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Speaking to CNN-affiliated News18, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that a “significant number” of Chinese troops had moved to the Current Control Line (FTA) between the two countries.

“It is true that the people of China are on the border. They claim that it is their territory. Our claim is that it is our area. There has been disagreement over that … India has done what it should do.” Singh said during the interview.

“We do not want any country to bow to us, and we will not bow to any country,” added Singh.

India and China share one of the longest land borders in the world. In 1962, the two countries engaged in a bloody border war in the Himalayas, and tensions have continued to flare up sporadically in subsequent decades.

Last month, an aggressive cross-border skirmish between Chinese and Indian forces resulted in minor injuries to the troops. The incident has been followed in recent weeks by unconfirmed reports of tensions in the mountainous area, although neither side had publicly acknowledged anything out of the ordinary.

On June 1, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference that the situation on the border was “stable and controllable”.

“The two sides can resolve related problems through established border mechanisms and diplomatic channels,” he said.

Zhao’s comments came a day after the Chinese nationalist state tabloid Global Times published an article that envisioned a series of new military weapons, which could be deployed in “high altitude conflicts” like the Himalayan border.

“The Chinese border defense troops have tightened border control measures and made necessary movements in response to the recent illegal construction of Indian defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region in May, “says the article.

India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh (C) arrives at Parliament in New Delhi on February 11.

Actual control line

In 1993, after years of territorial clashes and negotiations, China and India finally signed an agreement that attempted to mark a long stretch of border between the two countries.

That border is known as actual control line, But its precise location can be blurred, and there are still disputes between China and India over where one country ends and where the other begins.

Former Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said on her official Twitter account that Delhi and Beijing could not even agree on the length of the border between the two countries.

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“The India-China border is 3,488 kilometers (2,167 miles) long … In the Chinese definition, the India-China border is around 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) long,” he said.

Chinese state media has also covered the issue.

“There is no real control line along the China-India border that both sides recognize,” the Global Times said in an article on May 25.

The last time border tensions increased was in 2017 when troops concentrated on and around the Doklam Plateau, a thin strip of land at the triple union between India, China and Bhutan. Although not part of Indian territory, the area is close to the “chicken neck”, a strategic corridor that serves as a vital artery between Delhi and its northeast states.
Bhutan accused China of building a highway within its territory, which Beijing denied. Then India stepped in to support Bhutan’s claims, leading to a months-long clash, which included live fire drills of the Popular Liberation Army on the border.
Chinese and Indian soldiers get involved in & # 39; aggressive & # 39; cross-border skirmish

United States expresses its support for India

On May 29, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo entered the territorial saga, voicing his concerns about the border dispute on a podcast.

“The Chinese Communist Party: the nature of the activities they are carrying out … Even today, China’s growing forces moved to northern India on the royal line of control there on the Indian border,” Pompeo said. “This is the type of action that authoritarian regimes take and have a real impact.”

Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump said last month that the United States would be willing to mediate or arbitrate border disputes between India and China.

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“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate its border dispute that is now breaking out. Thank you!” he tweeted.

The relations between the EE. USA And China has deteriorated rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic and when Beijing tries to tighten its grip on the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response that it did not need a “third party” to intervene on its border with India. But US officials have continued to talk about the situation.

On June 1, Eliot Engel, chairman of the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “extremely concerned” about the movements of Chinese troops. along the actual control line.

“China is demonstrating once again that it is ready to intimidate its neighbors rather than resolve conflicts in accordance with international law,” it said in a statement.

“I strongly urge China to abide by the rules and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions with India.”

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