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Friday, July 03, 2020

India-China border Highlights: Will BJP’s revelations about donations stop activities along border, asks Sena

India-China border Highlights: "I don't think diplomacy and economic blockade will work with China. Quick action is required to resolve the LAC issue," senior party leader Kapil Sibal said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 28, 2020 10:29:44 pm
India-China Border News Live Updates, India China news, Galwan Valley, Depsang, Indian Express An Indian Army convoy moves along a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district June 18, 2020. (Reuters Photo: Danish Ismail)

India-China border Highlights: As tensions simmer on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh with no talks scheduled between commanders so far, the Congress on Saturday said that the last six years have witnessed the “biggest diplomatic failure” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I don’t think diplomacy and economic blockade will work with China. Quick action is required to resolve the LAC issue,” senior party leader Kapil Sibal said.

Earlier in the day, former Union minister P Chidambaram upped the ante against BJP chief J P Nadda over the saffron party’s claims that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) had accepted donations from the Chinese embassy. The Congress leader wondered if Modi could assure the withdrawal of Chinese troops if the organisation returned the donation taken earlier. “BJP President Mr Nadda specialises in speaking half-truths,” he said.

Subsequently, the Shiv Sena hit out at the BJP and asked whether the issue had any connection with intrusion by the neighbouring country in Ladakh and the killing of 20 Indian soldiers. “What do you mean by Congress gets money from China? Instead of responding to the issues raised by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the Chinese incursions, the BJP leaders accused the Congress of receiving funds from China,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

Live Blog

India-China Border Highlights: Chinese takes position at Pangong Tso, begins construction of helipad; New Delhi warns Beijing against 'repercussions'; Indian exporters say consignments stuck at China ports. Follow latest updates here

14:42 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Diplomacy, economic blockade won't work, Congress tells PM Modi

Congress leader Kapil Sibal today said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the nation and promise to push back anyone who has captured Indian territory. The Prime Minister must come clear on the LAC and publicly condemn the brazen Chinese incursions. I don't think diplomacy and economic blockade will work with China. Quick action is required to resolve the LAC issue."

14:13 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Sena slams BJP over RGF donations charge amid China standoff

After Chidambaram, the Shiv Sena today hit out at the BJP over its charge that RGF had accepted donations from the Chinese embassy, and asked it whether the issue had any connection with intrusion by the neighbouring country in Ladakh and subsequent killing of 20 Indian soldiers. The Sena also alleged that those raising questions against the government over the standoff with China were being labelled as Chinese agents by the BJP. "What do you mean by Congress gets money from China? Instead of responding to the issues raised by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the Chinese incursions, the BJP leaders accused the Congress of receiving funds from China," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'. "Will BJP's revelations about the donations stop the Chinese activities along the border? The BJP should tell what connection does these donations have with the Chinese incursion and the martyrdom of 20 soldiers," it added.

13:07 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Explained Ideas: Why India can’t depend on the US and EU to counter China

The border stand-off with China has made it crucial for India to rethink all its strategic options. Can it use the growing anti-China sentiment across the world to its advantage? The moment seems ripe, writes Pratap Bhanu Mehta, contributing editor, The Indian Expressin his latest column. “The degree of global alienation with the Xi Jinping regime is unprecedented. But can this be translated into concerted global action to exert real pressure on China?” Many strategic experts are salivating at the prospect of India deepening its alliance with the US. In reality, India’s options may be limited, Mehta points out. “It is an odd moment in global affairs, where there is recognition of a common challenge emanating from China, but no global appetite to take concerted action.” Click here to read more.

12:37 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Ex-Congress MLA charged with sedition over FB posts on LAC, arrested

The Himachal Pradesh Police on Friday arrested a former Congress MLA after booking him for sedition, among other charges, over “objectionable” Facebook posts on the LAC situation in Ladakh. Neeraj Bharti is an ex-MLA from Jawali who has served as the chief parliamentary secretary (education) in the previous Congress regime. Bharti posted four Facebook posts between June 15 and 20 — three written posts and a photographic meme. The posts were critical of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and were related to the death of Indian soldiers in Galwan and the situation at the LAC.

12:11 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Delhi asks its envoy to open talks with China’s top military body

After sending Beijing a clear message that continuation of the current situation on the LAC will “only vitiate the atmosphere for the development” of relations between the two countries, New Delhi has asked Vikram Misri, Indian ambassador to China, to speak to the top members of the Chinese Central Military Commission to resolve the border crisis. The Indian Express has learnt that South Block feels that diplomatic and military positions have hardened on both sides. It, therefore, wants to engage with the top echelon of the CMC. The CMC is the apex military body of China and has President Xi Jinping as its head and six other members. The CMC of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are actually two separate bodies, with the same 7-member leadership.

11:29 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera concerned over Chinese aggression against India

Indian-American Congressman Dr Ami Bera on Friday expressed concern over the India-China border row and asked Beijing to use diplomatic mechanisms rather than force to settle boundary issues with the neighbouring country. “I encourage China to use its longstanding diplomatic mechanisms with India to deescalate the situation rather than force to settle boundary issues,” Bera, the longest-serving Indian American in House of Representatives, said in a tweet.

10:50 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Will PM Modi assure withdrawal of Chinese troops if RGF returns Rs 20 lakh, asks Chidambaram

Upping the ante against BJP chief J P Nadda, Chidambaram today said: "BJP President Mr Nadda specialises in speaking half-truths. My colleague Mr Randeep Surjewala exposed his half truths yesterday. Suppose RGF returns the Rs 20 lakh, will PM Modi assure the country that China will vacate its transgression and restore status quo ante? Mr Nadda, come to terms with reality, don’t live in the past that is distorted by your half-truths. Please answer our questions on Chinese intrusion into Indian territory."

10:48 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Chidambaram shares images to 'spot differences' along LAC

Taking to Twitter, former Union minister P Chidambaram shared two images to highlight the differences in the situation along the LAC. "Spot the differences between May 22 and June 22, 2020 on the India-China border," he posted on the micro-blogging site.

10:28 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Now, Indian exporters complain shipments stuck at China ports

Close on the heels of consignments from China reportedly facing customs hurdles at a number of ports, Indian exporters have begun reporting similar issues with their shipments to the neighbouring country. In a recent note to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), which is the apex body of export promotion councils, has said that Hong Kong and Chinese Customs were holding back export consignments from India over the last few days. According to the representation made by FIEO, a copy of which The Indian Express has seen, some exporters have reported facing hurdles with their shipments to China. An exporter in the know said a majority of the shipments stuck for clearance at China and Hong Kong include organic chemicals.

10:02 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Chinese use of force to alter status quo will have repercussions on ties: Indian envoy

India on Friday warned China that trying to alter the status quo on the ground by resorting to force will not just damage the peace that existed in the border areas but can also have “ripples and repercussions” in the broader bilateral relationship, and demanded that Beijing stop its activities in eastern Ladakh. The only way to resolve the current military standoff along the LAC in eastern Ladakh was for Beijing to realise that trying to “change the status quo by resorting to force or coercion, is not the right way forward,” India’s ambassador to China Vikram Misri said in a hard-hitting interview to PTI. Asserting that actions taken by the Chinese forces on the ground have damaged “considerable trust” in the bilateral relationship, the Indian ambassador said it was entirely the responsibility of the Chinese side to take a careful view of the relations and to decide which direction the ties should move.

09:48 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Status quo ante the goal, India digs in for long haul

The government does not expect an early resolution of the two-month-old standoff on the LAC because of a deadlock in both diplomatic and military talks. A senior government official told The Indian Express that the armed forces had been given a “free hand” to deal with the situation and sufficient troops, military equipment and material have been moved to various areas along the 3,488-km-long disputed border with China. The official said that the armed forces had started to move adequate reserves to respond to any further developments despite grappling with the challenge of Covid-19 pandemic.

09:22 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Pangong Tso challenging area for Indian troops: Official

Another official said that “the Chinese are telling us that they have no intention of going back or restoring the status quo as in April. It is why they have not been interested in discussing any disengagement or de-escalation in Pangong Tso.” “We are also deployed in adequate strength but there are certain tactical restrictions imposed by the local terrain which we are cognisant of. Let me just say it is a challenging area for us,” the official said.

09:11 (IST)27 Jun 2020
Chinese building helipad in Pangong Tso, massing troops on southern bank of lake

The Chinese army has started consolidating its positions in the Pangong Tso area.This includes undertaking construction of a helipad at Finger 4 and a sudden increase of Chinese troops on the southern banks of Pangong Tso. This has led to apprehensions that the Chinese are asserting their claims and conveying their disinclination for restoration of status quo ante in the area. An official told The Indian Express, “It is correct that the Chinese have started consolidating their positions on the north bank of Pangong Tso lake. There is a helipad that is now being constructed in the Finger 4 area, which is in addition to all the other infrastructure construction done by them in past eight weeks or so.”

21:57 (IST)26 Jun 2020
Cong peddling 'lies, falsehoods': BJP after Sonia's video message

The BJP accused the Congress of advancing Chinese propaganda and peddling "lies and falsehoods" to lower the morale of armed forces, as it hit back at the opposition party after Sonia Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the nation into confidence on the border situation in Ladakh. BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao raised the issue of alleged donation from the Chinese embassy to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) when the Congress-led UPA was in power and said the Congress has not been able to offer any explanation to people on this extremely "shocking and damaging revelation".

"The Congress has not been able to offer any explanation to people of this country who have been wondering why the Congress is betraying India's interest by acting as a propaganda arm of China," Rao said in a statement. "Rather than answer such serious questions, the Gandhi family is continuing to blabber lies and falsehoods to lower the morale of armed forces and to advance Chinese propaganda," he alleged.

20:57 (IST)26 Jun 2020
Speak up, don't be scared: Rahul Gandhi to PM Modi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak up and tell the truth to the country on whether China has occupied any Indian territory. He said if the Prime Minister says no Indian territory has been occupied by China, while satellite images show otherwise, then China stands to benefit from his statement.

"If you (the PM) say Indian land has not been taken by China and it has actually been taken, then China will stand to benefit," Gandhi said. "Prime Minister ji, speak up and do not be scared. You will have to tell the truth to the country. Don't be scared to say that yes, China has taken our land and we are going to act against them. The whole country is with you."

14:48 (IST)26 Jun 2020
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi questions govt again on India-China border dispute

Stepping up attack on the BJP amid reports of fresh Chinese incursions in Ladakh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked the Centre to disclose when and how it plans to push back Chinese troops from the Indian territory. Read more here

13:00 (IST)26 Jun 2020
Army Chief briefs Defence Minister about on-ground situation in Ladakh

Army Chief General MM Naravane has briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about the ground situation in eastern Ladakh. Singh on Thursday returned from Russia where he had gone to attend the Victory Day celebrations. Naravane also came back to Delhi on Thursday from Ladakh, where he was briefed in detailed about the situation on the ground, and also visited some of the forward areas and presented commendation cards to several troops who were involved in clashes with the Chinese in Pangong Tso and in Galwan Valley. Singh is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the day and brief him about the situation.

Maxar WorldView-3 satellite image shows close up view of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) border and patrol point 14 in the eastern Ladakh sector of Galwan Valley June 22, 2020. (Maxar Technologies via Reuters)

Holding Beijing responsible for the violent faceoff in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Thursday said that China has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since early May and that the conduct of Chinese forces has been in “complete disregard of all mutually agreed norms”.

“At the heart of the matter is that since early May, the Chinese side has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. “This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements, especially the key 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas.”

The Indian side, the MEA said, had to obviously undertake counter deployments and that “the resulting tension has thereafter expressed itself”. On Wednesday, the Chinese Defence Ministry had echoed Beijing’s claim to the Galwan Valley. That was the first time that the Chinese armed forces staked claim to an area that is well within Indian territory. To this, the MEA said, “The deployment of large body of troops and changes in behaviour has also been aggravated by unjustified and untenable claims. The recent shift in the Chinese position on the Galwan Valley is one example.”

New satellite images have revealed Chinese structures back at Galwan Valley, the site of the June 15 clashes that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. Top sources in the Army told The Indian Express “the tent which was removed on June 15 has been reported back by our ground troops at PP-14 (Patrolling Point 14)”. The structures have been built between June 16 and June 22 because Planet Labs satellite images of the location on June 16, a day after the clashes, do not show any such infrastructure.

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