Death Count From India-China Border Battle in the Dozens, Sources Say
Written by Luis Miguel
The death toll from a border battle between China and India in the Ladakh region appears to be higher than originally believed, as sources say dozens of Chinese soldiers were killed in addition to the 20 Indian casualties widely reported when the news first broke.
According to U.S. News & World Report, American intelligence believes 35 Chinese troops were killed in the conflict, which took place during a meeting in the mountainous region whose possession is disputed by both countries. The two sides had reportedly agreed to disarm for the meeting in order to deliberate on how to safely withdraw their respective forces from the area.
Somehow the meeting became tense, culminating in a physical confrontation involving batons and knives. Some of the casualties were from injuries related to the weapons, while others were from soldiers falling to their deaths from the steep mountain paths, a source recounted.
The Times of India says that the Chinese government considers the casualties among their troops a humiliation and has avoided publicly confirming the number of their dead so as not to embolden their adversaries.
Tensions are rising in the area encompassing India’s northern Ladakh region and China’s southwestern Aksai Chin region.
In a separate report, the New York Times detailed both nations’ recent efforts to strengthen their forces in the area.
For the past several weeks, after a series of brawls along their disputed border, China and India have been building up their forces in the remote Galwan Valley, high up in the Himalayas.
As they dug into opposing positions, adding tinder to a long-smoldering conflict, China took an especially muscular posture, sending in artillery, armored personnel carriers, dump trucks and excavators. On Monday night, a huge fight broke out between Chinese and Indian troops in roughly the same barren area where these two nations, the world’s most populous, had fought a war in 1962.
Meanwhile, China’s semi-official Global Times wrote in an editorial saying that the tensions were the product of “arrogance and recklessness of the Indian side,” whose officials believed “their country’s military is more powerful than China’s.”
Yet the editorial made clear that its main object of discontent is the United States, which has strengthened ties with India under President Trump.
“The U.S. has wooed India with its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which adds to the abovementioned misjudgment of some Indian elite,” asserts the Global Times. “New Delhi must be clear that the resources that the U.S. would invest in China-India relations are limited. What the U.S. would do is just extend a lever to India, which Washington can exploit to worsen India’s ties with China, and make India dedicate itself to serving Washington’s interests.”
President Trump visited India in February. His administration has sought to grow trade with the South Asian nation. And in 2018, the U.S. renamed its military command for the area the “Indo-Pacific Command,” signaling a departure from previous administrations’ attempts to balance the country’s India relations with those of regional rivals such as China and Pakistan.
Aksai Chin, the area being disputed, is a cold and inhospitable part of the Himalayas. In his book on the region, British historian Neville Maxwell describes it as a “no-man’s land, where nothing grows and no one lives.” Yet the two nuclear powers fought a brief war over it in 1962 that left thousands dead.
One of the problems is that the two sides do not completely agree on the border, causing them to frequently accuse one another of overstepping their boundaries and seeking to overstep their territory.
These worries have been fueled by infrastructure building near Aksai Chin. The Chinese normally did most of the building, but recently, India has ramped up infrastructure building on its side.
Last year, for example, India completed a new road that runs very close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This road is intended to support troops along the border, allowing them to be resupplied from Daulat Beg Oldi, the world’s highest airfield — something that would be very useful if India decided to build military facilities on the border.
“Some signs suggest China’s recent advances are a response to the new road, which they perceive as a change in the status quo at the LAC,” said Aidan Milliff, a South Asia expert at MIT.
Jeff Smith from Washington’s Heritage Foundation believes the incident will drive India and America closer together.
“This is going to strengthen India’s resolve to treat the U.S. as a partner and strengthen cooperation with the other Quad partners to better insulate itself against Chinese aggression,” he said.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American