United States offers condolences to India over soldiers killed in clash with China
Jun 20 2020
China has not said whether it suffered any casualties in what was the deadliest conflict between the sides in 45 years.
Experts have said the two nations were unlikely to head to war, but that easing tensions quickly will be hard.
"The need of the hour was for Chinese side to reassess its action and take corrective action", the Indian foreign ministry quoted Mr Jaishankar has telling Mr Wang.
The Indian government made no comment but the army released a statement saying: "It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action" after the fighting in the Galwan Valley area of Ladakh. The absence of firearms in the clash dates back to a 1996 agreement between the two sides that guns and explosives be prohibited along the disputed stretch of the border, to deter escalation.
Indian security officials have said the fatalities were caused by severe injuries and exposure to subfreezing temperatures.
Unconfirmed reports in Indian media said at least 40 Chinese soldiers died, but China is yet to issue any information about casualties. The Indian Army is on high alert along the entire Line of Actual Control.
The rules of engagement along the Line of Actual Control - which prohibit using live ammunition but also ban physical contact between soldiers - will have to be renegotiated, defense analyst Rahul Bedi said.
The Galwan Valley attack on Indian soldiers on June 15 was not an isolated incident.
Media reports say that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to heads of all political parties and invited them to the all-party meet.
Rising tensions with China - whose economy is five times bigger than India's and has a better funded military - has become Prime Minister Narendra Modi's most serious foreign policy challenge since he took power in 2014.
Indian opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi demanded answers from the army after asking: "Why were our soldiers sent unarmed to martyrdom?"
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it. This is the first admission from the Indian side that status quo has been violated by the Chinese, which implies that the Chinese have indeed set up structures and camps on Indian territory.
Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said China was trying to put pressure on India, and he didn't think Beijing wanted a violent clash between their armies.
The Chinese are trying to usurp Indian land and even launched a massive propaganda campaign to claim that its troops were positioned within the Chinese border, which is a lie that has been exposed by global think-tanks keeping a close watch on India-China border developments.