Urgent talks between both sides have been scheduled for this week over the foreboding border row in eastern Ladakh. Last week a senior source in the Indian Army confirmed that Chinese troops had occupied more than 60 sq km of Indian territory in eastern Ladakh.
The move marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between New Delhi and Beijing and was seen as a direct hit by China at Modi’s cozying up to the United States.
Up to 12,000 Chinese soldiers crossed the border from China into India last month, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Now, ahead of this week’s crunch talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been urged to fight his corner in the dispute.
Writing for The Print, an Indian news website, Rajesh Rajogopalan urged Mr Modi to wake up to China’s “salami-slicing tactics” of grabbing territory from the Indians inch by inch.
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The professor in international politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi laid out the Prime Minister’s options.
He said: “New Delhi can signal that continued pressure on the border can have repercussions, such as strengthening Indian strategic partnerships with the US and others.
“India could also become more vocal about issues such as China’s roadbuilding in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, its role in the coronavirus pandemic, or its behaviour in Hong Kong.
“These have no intrinsic value to India, but to the extent that China values its narrative, they represent points of vulnerability that India can exploit.”
He said while an escalation in tensions would hurt both sides, standing by and watching China behave with impunity should be ruled out.
Prof Rajogopalan added: “The alternative to escalation is being repeatedly victimised, as India was for decades by Pakistan’s terrorism.”
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The Line of Actual Control (LAC), a loose demarcation line that separates Chinese territory from Indian territory, is at the centre of the tensions.
The United Nations has responded to the move by calling for restraint.
This weeks’ meetings are expected to include talks between top military figures from both sides on the ground in Ladakh.
A big diplomatic summit is also set to take place at the Indian joint-secretary and Chinese director-general level.
Sources in the Indian Government expressed hope ahead of the meetings.
The efforts come after military commanders from both armies met for face-to-face discussions in the Galwan and Hot Springs area on June 6.
Sources in the Indian army said there had been disengagement between Indian and Chinese troops at more locations along the border.
The source said: “There has been limited disengagement of troops at more locations due to the continuous rounds of talks going on between the two sides.”
Other sources suggested China had toned down its tactics since the talks earlier this month.
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