Himalayan border conflicts escalate

China has mobilized thousands of troops backed up by armored vehicles to a contested area along the border with India in the Himalayas, where troops last month hurled stones at each other across the unmarked boundary known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The area in question is in the Galwan River valley between Ladakh, in Indian-administered Kashmir, and Chinese-administered Aksai Chin. Top generals from both sides held talks in Moldo, on the Chinese side, on June 6, but tensions remain high. India charges that Chinese forces are hindering patrols by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim, and refutes Beijing's claim that Indian forces have crossed to the Chinese side. (SCMPNDTVNDTV)

India-China stand-offs along the Himalayan border have been recurrent in recent years. Both sides have also been pressing claims to disputed territories in Nepal. India's Foreign Ministry issued a statement of protest this week after Nepal's parliament passed a constitutional amendment altering the country's official map to depict the Kalapani enclave, Lipulekh Pass and other disputed areas as definitive parts of Nepal. (FT, Republic World, Tribune India)

Deadly violence erupts on China-India border

Twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed and several others injured in a skirmish with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley region of eastern Ladakh. Chinese soldiers reportedly hurled stones and used nail-studded iron rods. No bullets were fired, but the incident is seen as a significant escalation of the ongoing military confrontation in the high-altitude region since early May.

The Indian casualties are the first since four Assam Rifles jawans were killed in an ambush by Chinese soldiers at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh in October 1975. (ToI)

Chinese casualties in border clash?

China has not said anything about losses in the hand-to-hand combat that took place in the contested Galwan Valley in the western Himalayas, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 76 injured. But an Indian cabinet minister has claimed numerous Chinese casualties in the clash. "If 20 were martyred on our [Indian] side, then there would have been at least double the casualties on their [China] side," VK Singh, the minister for roads and transport, told TV News24. (Reuters)

Chinese blogger jailed for comments on China-India border clash

A court in Nanjing sentenced a popular Weibo blogger, Qiu Ziming, to eight months in prison for his comments about Chinese soldiers who died in a border clash with Indian troops at Galwan Valley in June of last year.

China's government released casualty figures from the Galwan Valley clash, asserting that only four Chinese soldiers were killed. However, Ziming suggested that China's fatalities in the clash were higher than reported.

The court found that such comments "infringed on the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs," making Ziming guilty of "slandering heroes and martyrs" under China's new criminal law provision that bans such behavior. The court noted that Ziming was receiving a lighter sentence for his crime because he "truthfully confessed to his crime." (Jurist)

India-China border talks end in stalemate

Talks between Indian and Chinese military officials aiming to diffuse border tensions have ended in a stalemate, leading to the continuation of a 17-month standoff that’s led to some deadly clashes. The two countries will now keep troops through the winter at areas along the de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories in Ladakh, a territory that China claims in its entirety. Both countries have positioned tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery, tanks and fighter jets along the LAC. Both sides are blaming each other for the breakdown in talks. (PRI)

China building a new bridge on disputed border with India

China is building a bridge across a lake in Ladakh region on China's disputed Himalayan border with India—a move condemned by the Indian government, which called it an "illegal construction." It is the second and sturdier of two Chinese bridges across the Pangong Tso lake. (CNBC)

China-India border clash follows US-India exercises

India says its forces have clashed with Chinese troops in a disputed area along the Line of Actual Control, the first such flare-up in more than a year. The nations had been working to de-escalate tensions since a major clash killed at least 24 troops in 2020. But on Dec. 12, the Indian army said there had been a skirmish in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh state three days earlier. Both sides were involved with a few soldiers suffering minor injuries. By mutual agreement, border troops on either side do not carry firearms. (BBC News)

The clash comes two weeks after China objected to a high-altitude military exercise between India and the United States in the Himalayas, alleging that the war drill close to the disputed boundary along the Line of Actual Control flouted the spirit of the two key bilateral agreements inked in 1993 and 1996. The "Yudh Abhyas 2022" exercise in Uttarakhand took place some 100 kilometers from the LAC. (Outlook India, Deccan Herald)