India loses 20 soldiers in a border clash with belligerent China: Covid-19 convulsions
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
At least 20 soldiers from India have died after border clashes with China in an area claimed by both. It remains unknown how many soldiers from China were killed in violent clashes.
Reuters reports, “The deaths were the first since the last major border clash in 1967 between the nuclear-armed neighbors – also the world’s two most populous countries – which have been unable to settle the dispute along their lengthy frontier.”
Before focusing on the border clash it should be stated that China under Xi Jinping is becoming increasingly belligerent. Indeed, with just below 450,000 deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19) emanating from China – just like SARS – then no apology for causing international deaths and economic convulsions.
On the contrary, Xi is upping the ante in Hong Kong, utilizing social media to spread enormous propaganda, threatening several nations over islands and maritime disputes, increasingly hostile toward Taiwan, and oppressing various religions at home to a higher degree. Therefore, even while death and economic upheavals are blighting so many nations because of the coronavirus, China is still seeking to intimidate by utilizing nationalism.
Turning back to the clash between China and India in the Western Himalayas, then it is known that India lost 20 soldiers after fights flared with rocks and iron rods. This incident comes at a time when India is under enormous strains from the coronavirus that emanates from China.
The armed forces of India report, “Seventeen Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to the sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.”
China immediately blamed India for the border crisis. Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of China, said: “What’s shocking is that on June 15, the Indian side severely violated our consensus and twice crossed the borderline and provoked and attacked the Chinese forces, causing a violent physical confrontation between the two border forces.”
It is very rare for deaths to occur in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India even if flare-ups happen. Thus China is distracting internally while making the most of the ensuing mayhem caused by the coronavirus. Hence, recent events in Hong Kong over legal changes and the clash with India – and continuing threats to several regional nations.
Race issues beset America, the loss of nearly 120,000 people from coronavirus, economic convulsions, and the presidential elections. Therefore, China is sensing an opportune time to further its power concentration over Hong Kong and to be even more belligerent towards an array of neighbors.
The BBC reports, “The LAC is poorly demarcated. The presence of rivers, lakes and snowcaps means the line can shift. The soldiers either side – representing two of the world’s largest armies – come face-to-face at many points.”
Voice of America says, “Clashes have erupted over the years along the disputed 3,500 kilometer-long border but skirmishes have intensified in recent weeks in the Galwan Valley, where India is constructing a strategic road linking the region to an airstrip near China.”
Irrespective of the spark because of miss-communication by China or India, the pattern is an increasingly belligerent China under Xi. This relates to growing oppression in Xinjiang, the endless persecution of the Tibetans, unapologetic stance of yet another virus emanating from China, usurping the last vestiges of the special status of Hong Kong, territorial intimidation, and other areas.
India issued a statement by the ministry that said, “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.”
If Xi is using petty nationalism to distract people internally because of internal economic convulsions then both nations can solve the crisis. Likewise, China might be testing the waters just like in Hong Kong because of the perceived weakness of America. Or the spat could have developed naturally outside of any power concentration strings of China or India.
Either way, the feeling is that “the ball” is in the hands of China and not India.
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