Avoidable clash between China and India

 

Binoo Joshi

J K News Today Commentary

 

 

Whatever happened in the Galwan Valley, reckoned as a major stand-off point between Chinese and Indian troops since early May, was avoidable. The intransigence of PLA troops seems to be responsible for the unfortunate episode that has added a new point to the agenda of talks between the two sides that were already engaged in resolving the face-off situation in some parts of eastern Ladakh, where the Chinese intrusion has brought about a very difficult situation in the region.

Chinese, it appears without any iota of doubt, wanted to cause trouble in the talks and keep the current face-off situation to last longer, dashing all hopes of an early solution. This is a bad conduct on the part of China.

That India lost an officer of the rank of Colonel and two soldiers in the physical clashes in Galwan Valley is a serious situation for the Indian army. Losing a colonel in such a fight is an immeasurable loss. That Chinese troops also suffered casualties may give a sense that this was not one-sided affair and that the Chinese met their match is one thing, but this does complicate the situation.

Since May, the Indians and Chinese were holding talks through their military and diplomatic channels. These talks received a formal frame when the military commander level talks were held on the Chinese side of Chushul-Moldo on June 6. Thereafter, two statements, starting with Delhi and followed up by another from Beijing gave a very strong impression that the dialogue was headed toward success – the de-escalation at the points of face-off and return to the pre-May positions along the LAC. Chinese should have kept their word and moved back to their areas once and for all and resolved the issue in a spirit of mutual understanding and dignified exit from a very complex situation without looking at any third- party mediation.

The Monday evening incident that came to light on Tuesday morning has added to the complexity to the situation- now the talks would have to address the incident, its origin and the possible solutions before touching the larger issue of returning to their original position. Sometimes, an n incident of this nature causes more hurdles in talks initiated to address the original issues. These serve as diversifying   and destructive for the very idea of dialogue.

Matters are being made worse by the Chinese media with little regard to the situation and its difficult nature. Global Times, which is part of People’s Daily run by the Communist Party of China, is wrecking the talks by its provocative columns and tweets.

This is bad. Beijing should behave responsibly with India that holds an important position in the comity of nations and is a vibrant democracy,

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