Defence

Year after Galwan, India remains apprehensive of Chinese military intent

By The Week

Exactly a year ago, around 7pm on June 15, colonel B. Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment, along with 35 men including two majors, had a heated argument with Chinese troops over dismantling of a PLA observation post at Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan valley.

The fiery argument shortly turned into a bloody clash, but colonel Babu’s team stood firm against the numerically superior Chinese force. While India had acknowledged and honoured 20 soldiers killed in the seven-hour-long clash, China reluctantly admitted to only four fatal casualties.

However, multiple sources have confirmed killing of at least 40 Chinese soldiers in the clash. The Galwan clash was the first in four decades on the hotly contested India-China border (3,488km), which is also known as the Line of Actual Control.

And, the ‘trust’ was the biggest casualty between the two neighbours (in Galwan clash), which took decades to regain after the 1962 war, as per military planners.

In last one year, there has been massive deployment of troops on both sides, despite multiple rounds of military and diplomatic negotiations. While the Indian military continues to strengthen its defences by building roads and infrastructure in the Ladakh sector by reorienting its force levels, the Chinese side has built additional accommodation in the depth areas with an intention for a long haul.

And to counter Chinese aggression, the Indian military now has two strike corps looking after China border along with several reserves units dedicated on northern and eastern sectors.

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