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Chinese General ordered clash at Galwan, says US intel report

16 Jul 2020

Chinese General ordered clash at Galwan, says US intel report
New Delhi, June 24. Reports of senior PLA officer Gen Zhao Zongqi, in charge of China’s western theatre command, approving the assault on Indian troops at Galwan Valley on the night of June 15 has sparked a fresh discussion over the predetermined attack and motives behind the aggressive act.
According to a report in the US News, which had previously reported that the Chinese side had sustained significant casualties in the Galwan clash, the US intelligence did not see the incident as a spontaneous clash. Gen Zhao, seen to have been involved in the 2017 Doklam standoff, is seen as a key player. The American intelligence assessment sees the Ladakh intrusions and assault at Galwan being driven by a desire to signal that China is not vulnerable to “opportunistic” pressure tactics by India in the post-Covid situation. This ties in with the assessment of some experts here who also feel that China was seeking to remind India of its vulnerability along the LAC in the context of proximity to the US, decisions to curb Chinese investments and supporting calls for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
The view of US intelligence quoted in the report is at variance with the Chinese claim that Indian troops “violated” the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and stepped into their territory. If the idea was to remind India of its frailty, the gambit may have backfired, with a strong backlash building up against China in India and the Modi government likely to seek more, not less, alignment with the US.The move to assert its overlordship in its neighbourhood by using hamhanded military tactics in order to teach India its place has led to a strong counter mobilisation with New Delhi stressing that bilateral ties now rest on restoration of status quo ante.
The US News report has held that 35 Chinese troops died and later Indian sources said that two officers had also perished in the skirmish. The Chinese casualties were not disclosed and the foreign office carefully said the number of 40 is incorrect.
A section of Indian experts has held that China read India’s moves as a bid to reduce its influence and weaken the pincer it has used against India — propping up Pakistan as a proxy and use unsettled borders to keep successive governments in New Delhi off balance.
Courtesy: Times of India, June 24, 2020