“We never provoke anyone,”
- PM Narendra Modi
• On Monday night, the Indian army confirmed that 20 Indian soldiers died in the Galwan valley, Ladakh and said that there was no firing. Both sides fought each other with nail-studded clubs and stones. China did not provide a specific number, but Indian officials have said that there were at least 43 injuries or deaths on the other side.
• The immediate cause of this clash was Chinese troops crossing the border and setting up a post in a buffer zone or a neutral area.
• The Galwan valley is located along the Line of Actual Control (India-China border), and near Aksai Chin, an Indian territory that was captured by China in 1962 and is still under their control. The valley lies at an altitude of about 14,000 feet and the temperature quite often falls below zero degrees Celsius.
• The face off can be linked to the construction of the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road by India, which was condemned by China.
• Moreover, China has been voicing concerns about a bridge that is going to be built along the Galwan Nallah. Despite the fact that the bridge is around 7.5 km away from the LAC, China has become suspicious after Indian officials have started to claim ownership of Aksai Chin. Besides, the Galwan valley is the only point that gives direct access to Aksai Chin. And, China feels that India is planning to take control of Aksai Chin and the construction is merely a deception.
• But as of today, India and China have agreed to de-escalate the situation at the earliest.