Ladakh — China Enters Territory, Delhi Silent

  • Gandhi tweeted that even though the Chinese had entered Ladakh, and occupied Indian territory, Prime Minister Modi was not talking about it.
  • Many observers also believe that the Ladakh border conflict will not lead to war in the end.
  • Delhi is not willing to open its mouth on the border situation.

In Ladakh, a full-blown political debate has erupted in India over how far Chinese troops have penetrated into Indian territory, and why the government is silent on the whole issue. Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and the ruling BJP traded barbs on the issue on Twitter.

Sovereignty over two relatively large and several smaller separated pieces of territory has been contested between China and India. Aksai Chin is located either in the Indian union territory of Ladakh or the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. The other disputed territory lies south of the McMahon Line.

Gandhi tweeted that even though the Chinese had entered Ladakh, and occupied Indian territory, Prime Minister Modi was not talking about it. In response, the BJP tweeted the country’s strategic interests are at stake. Many observers also believe that the Ladakh border conflict will not lead to war in the end, a notion that India is probably reluctant to open up about.

Well-known Indian defense analyst Ajay Shukla, in an article published on Wednesday, claimed that China has taken a very tough stance on the border conflict in Ladakh, and they have not only occupied a large part of Pangong Lake, but the entire Galvan Valley.

‘Border Situation is Critical’

Gandhi tagged the article and asked from his Twitter handle why there was no response from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, despite such a big incident.

“There are reports that Chinese troops have entered Indian territory at least 40 to 60 kilometers away, and the situation is very serious,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters. “But there is no official statement from the government on the border situation!”

BJP leader and senior cabinet minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, has resorted to counter-attacking the Congress to raise such questions. “How much Rahul Gandhi understands India’s strategic interests is another big issue that can be debated,” he said. “But he should at least understand that military relations with China cannot be openly questioned on Twitter like this!”

“This Silence will not Lead to War”

China–India relations, also called Sino-Indo relations or Indian-Chinese relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between China and India. Although the relationship has been cordial, there have been border disputes.

It is clear that Delhi is not willing to open its mouth on the border situation. A reporter asked Professor Chakraborty, a fellow of the Institute of China Studies in Delhi, what the possible reasons might be.

Professor Chakraborty says, “India is well aware that China is doing this muscle-flexing for the sake of their domestic constitution. That is to show the people of their own country because their internal situation is a little under pressure and so they will do it now.”

“But it will not turn into a military conflict. And that’s probably why India doesn’t want to open its mouth about it because if it does, it will take another turn! It simply came to our notice then. The armies of the two countries were patrolling there, and the conflict started from there. ”

“I think the government is showing caution to prevent war and when the BJP was not in power, they always said that Congress was bowing to Chinese pressure. Today, when the Congress is not in power, they are saying the same thing about the BJP – so I don’t give much importance to them, “said Professor Chakraborty.

However, the border dispute in Ladakh is moving in the same direction as India’s domestic politics was stirred up earlier with India’s surgical strike in Pakistan-administered Kashmir or Balakot. As Ladakh BJP MP Jamiang Shering Namgyal asked reporters, “why do Rahul Gandhi and the Congress want proof of everything?”

“They have raised these questions before whether the Indian troops have been martyred or whether there has really been a strike. Now they want proof of India’s success in the border dispute. I repeat this is a very sensitive issue – it should not be politicized.”

But even the slightest military confrontation with neighboring China or Pakistan has never escaped the shadow of politics in India, and this is no exception.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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