While India has publicly rejected any scope for external interference in its ongoing border dispute with China, it has been ramping up cooperation with the US and its Asian allies at the same time. In May, India denied a claim by US President Donald Trump, who said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wasn’t in a good mood due to the border situation.
The deadly clashes between troops from the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the disputed Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh this year had been “planned” by the Chinese government, a new report by a US panel has alleged.
The recently released annual report of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) has also stated that Beijing had considered the “possibility for fatalities” in the hand-to-hand combat. A clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the remote Galwan Valley region on the intervening night of 15 and 16 June left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
China has so far refused to divulge if it suffered casualties in the border flare-up, the deadliest between the two Asian neighbours since the 1962 border war.
The US panel report also draws on remarks by Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe in the lead-up to the clashes to allege that the incident could have been in the making for some time.
“Just over two weeks before the incident, in another potential indication of Chinese leaders signaling their intent to escalate tensions, an editorial in…