Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A year after Galwan clash

Topic covered: Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas

A year after Galwan clash


Context:

One year anniversary since the Galwan clash between Chinese and Indian armed forces

Background:

  • India and China share a border that is more than 3,440km (2,100 miles) long and have overlapping territorial claims.
  • In 2020, Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a tense stand-off at three points along the Line of Actual Control — the Galwan River Valley, Hot Springs area and the Pangong Lake
  • Even as India and China were engaged in military-level talks and in controlled engagement, there was a violent face-off between the army troops of both sides at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh region.

The strategic importance of Galwan River Valley (GRV):

  • The Galwan River is the highest ridgeline and it allows the Chinese to dominate the Shyok route passes,which is close to the river.
  • It lies along the western sector of the LAC and close to Aksai Chin,a disputed area claimed by India but controlled by China.

Why tensions suddenly rose in this area?

  • India is trying to construct a feeder road emanating from Darbuk-Shyok Village – Daulat Beg Odi road (DS-DBO road).
  • This road runs along the Shyok River and is the most critical line of communications close to LAC.
  • Hence, Chinese were keen on controlling this area as they fear that the Indian side could end up threatening their position on the Aksai Chin plateauby using the river valley.

galwan_valley

What actions has China taken since this event?

  • PLA has built additional accommodation in the depth areas along the LAC on its side and is preparing for establishing a long haul presence in the area
  • Troops are being rotated in these areas by the Chinese
  • China is also intensifying construction work behind the main confrontation points in the Aksai Chin
  • Small arms exercise was conducted by the PLA in Tibet. In this exercise, PLA soldiers were trained in anti-tank rocket launchers, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft machine guns and other weapons
  • Reports have also indicated that China has deployed a long-range rocket artillery in the border region at an altitude of 5200 m

Disengagement process since last one year after the tense stand-off

  • India and China have so far held 11 rounds of military talks for disengagement and de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh since the stand-off began in May last year.
  • India’s aim in all these talks has been the restoration of status quoante of April 2020
  • Both the sides have agreed to and actually disengaged from the finger areas on the North Bank of Pangong Tso.
  • Both sides have also emptied the heights of the Kailash ranges on the South Bank where Indian Army was in an advantageous position.
  • There has been no progress in the talks for disengagement at Gogra and Hotsprings as well as in Demchok and the strategic Depsang Valley.

  

InstaCurious:

Have you heard of Ice Stupas of Ladhak? Read Here

 

Insta links

Prelims links

  1. Geographical position of all areas which were point of contention between the two armies
  2. Important geographical features in these areas. Ex: Rivers, mountain valleys etc

Mains links

Discuss the steps taken by China and India to de-escalate the border tension which occurred in 2020.