India accuses China of amassing troops on border

  • Pompeo tears into ‘rogue actor’ China for border tension with India
  • China bigger problem than Pakistan, say a majority of Indians, ready to ditch Chinese goods

 

New Delhi:  China has deployed large numbers of troops and weapons along the de factor border between the two countries in violation of bilateral agreements, India’s external affairs ministry said on Thursday, accusing Beijing of escalating tensions and triggering a deadly clash last week.

“At the heart of the matter is that since early May the Chinese side had been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC (Line of Actual Control),” ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a briefing in New Delhi.

“This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements,” he said, including a 1993 treaty that dictates that both sides will maintain limited border deployments.

China has blamed India for the clash – the deadliest between the two nuclear armed neighbors for at least five decades – and said Indian troops attacked Chinese officers and soldiers, reports Reuters.

Responding to the heightened Chinese presence last month, India also deployed a large number of troops along the LAC, Srivastava said, leading to face-offs in the Ladakh region of the Western Himalayas.

On June 15, Indian and Chinese troops brawled for several hours in the Galwan Valley, using stones and sticks with nails embedded in them to beat each other, killing 20 Indian soldiers and injuring at least 76 more. China has not disclosed how many casualties its troops suffered.

After senior military commanders held parleys this week, both sides have since agreed to disengage their troops on the disputed border.

But in satellite images reviewed by Reuters, China appears to have added new structures near the site of the Galwan Valley clash that India says is on its side of the LAC. These include camouflaged tents or covered structures and a potential new camp under construction with walls or barricades.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Chinese Army for “escalating” the border tension with India and described the ruling Chinese Communist Party as a “rogue actor”, which, he said  wants to undo all the progress the free world has made through institutions like NATO and adopt a new set of rules and norms that accommodate Beijing. He was giving a virtual address on “Europe and the China Challenge” during the 2020 Copenhagen Democracy Summit.

Meanwhile, a whopping 68 per cent Indians believe that China is a far bigger problem for India than arch-enemy Pakistan, according to the latest IANS-CVoter Snap Poll on China, conducted in the wake of the India-China standoff in Ladakh. About the same percentage of people said that as a mark of protest, they will stop buying Chinese products, including mobile phones, TVs and electronic goods.

Image courtesy of thesatimes | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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