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RSTV – THE BIG PICTURE ANALYSIS
A report tabled in the US Congress that claims that the Chinese government planned the Galwan incident, where 20 Indian soldiers laid down their lives fighting the Chinese troops.
In its just-released annual report, the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission says that Beijing scaled up a "coercion campaign" against India.
What is the Background?
The report says that while the exact reasons for China's motivation to provoke India on the Line of actual control (LAC) is unclear, the proximate cause of the clash appears to be to harm India’s strategic and economic interests.
The Galwan incident heightened tensions between the two countries with both sides massing troops on their respective borders.
The Chinese government had planned the clash with Indian troops in Galwan Valley in June, which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unspecified Chinese casualties, a US commission has concluded in a new report to Congress.
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, in the report submitted on December 1, described the nearly eight-month-long India-China standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the “most severe border crisis in decades”.
Referring to the “massive physical brawl in the Galwan Valley” between People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian troops on June 15, the report said, “Some evidence suggested the Chinese government had planned the incident, potentially including the possibility for fatalities. For instance, several weeks prior to the clash, Defense Minister Wei [Fenghe] made his statement encouraging Beijing to ‘use fighting to promote stability’.”
It added, “Satellite images depicted a large Chinese buildup in the Galwan Valley, including potentially 1,000 PLA soldiers, the week before the deadly skirmish.”
The report further noted that just “over two weeks before the incident, in another potential indication of Chinese leaders signalling their intent to escalate tensions, an editorial in China’s state-owned tabloid Global Times warned that India would suffer a ‘devastating blow’ to its trade and economic ties with China if it got ‘involved in the US-China rivalry’”.
The India-China border standoff emerged in the open after two clashes between troops of the two sides in the Sikkim and Ladakh sectors of the LAC. The two countries have been unable to agree on disengagement and de-escalation at friction points despite several rounds of diplomatic and military talks.