søndag 18. juli 2021

Tensions remain high as hopes dashed for breakthrough in China and India stalemate

It was described as a dialogue, the first high-level meeting in months between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers to address the ongoing border aggressions that have pushed the two nuclear-armed countries to the brink of war. But those hoping Wednesday’s meeting would help break a year-long stalemate during which 200,000 troops have built up on both sides of the Himalayan frontier were to be left unsatisfied. There was one point of agreement, however. As Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, noted, “relations between India and China are still at a low point”.

In June last year, following several months of rising tensions along the India-China border in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, 20 Indian soldiers and reportedly four Chinese soldiers were killed in the deadliest clash between the two countries in more than 50 years. Forbidden from firing weapons, the two sides instead fought on the icy mountain precipice of Galwan valley in medieval fashion, using spiked clubs and engaging in hand-to-hand combat, with several soldiers falling to their deaths.