Saturday, July 18, 2020

Galwan Valley Skirmish part of broader expansionist campaign of China: Report

Representative Image

Washington D.C. July 18 (ANI): The bloodiest killing of 20 Indian Army personnel by Chinese troops at Patrolling Point 14 of the Galwan region of Western Sector of Ladakh border is part of a broader campaign by China to insert military forces and assert territorial claims over countries in the South Asian region, as per documents obtained by US News and World Report.

Citing the documents which offered an insight into the Indian government's thinking on the deadly skirmish last month between forces in the Himalayas, Paul D Shinkman, a national security correspondent of US News, said that New Delhi links the latest encounter in Ladakh to "Beijing's sweeping imperialist designs. Its expansionism 'eschews direct military action but resorts to coercive diplomacy by penetrating and undermining sovereignty and economies of many countries." Shinkman said that the document, which has not been previously published, is supported by some analysts.

And it comes amid US fears that Beijing has successfully exploited the international fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to secure territorial claims along other portions of its border, including in the South China Sea and Hong Kong. "The moves have prompted retaliatory measures from the Trump administration that have escalated this week," the correspondent said further.

At least 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the June 15 violent face-off, and American intelligence believes 35 Chinese troops also died, as per the reports.

The incident bore some similarities to prior skirmishes between the two countries, including in 2010 and 2014, as well as a brawl between Indian and Chinese forces in Doklam, a separate part of the border in 2017. "Those incidents, though violent at times, ended relatively peacefully and swiftly," Shinkman said.

"With the latest offensive, India believes Beijing seeks to grab greater control of the mountain regions along China's southwest border - contested territory loosely demarcated by a tentative agreement known as the Line of Actual Control - in an attempt to gain greater accessibility to its partner Pakistan, India's chief rival," he added.

A USD 60 billion deal between the two countries, known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - part of China's broader "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative - would grant Beijing direct access over the land to the sea through at least two routes in Pakistan.

Beyond expanding China's commercial shipping network, the new routes would also allow Beijing to bypass the Straits of Malacca - a chokepoint between Malaysia and Indonesia that the US Navy closely patrols with its regional allies and partners.

As per the report, the Indian government believes that to create reliable access to those projects in Pakistan, China must first try to oust Indian troops occupying positions in the contested region.

That troop presence "is preventing a military and territorial link-up between China and Pakistan. And China sees it as a security risk to CPEC and all the related investments," according to one of the papers.

The Indian assessment also comes as the Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on China in recent weeks, issuing retaliatory sanctions against Beijing after it imposed sanctions on a collection of US lawmakers. (ANI)

Pompeo says Chinese Communist Party trying to dominate global communication networks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (File Pic)

lowa [USA], July 18 (ANI): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the Chinese Communist Party is not only crushing freedom in Hong Kong and threatening a free Taiwan but also trying to dominate the global communication networks.

"Today, the Chinese Communist Party is crushing freedom in Hong Kong. It is threatening a free Taiwan and trying to dominate the world communications networks," Pompeo said during a visit to lowa on Friday (local time).

"A few weeks back, I read a report about the Chinese Communist Party forcing mass abortions and sterlilisation on Chinese Muslims in Western China. These are some of the most gross human rights violations we have seen and I have referred to it as the stain of the century," he added.

On Friday, Washington booked five Chinese foreign national and two Chinese entities under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. It also imposed visa sanctions on certain employees of Chinese technology companies including Huawei that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally.

In a statement on Webnesday, Pompeo had announced the restrictions and said: "Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers."

Pompeo had said that Huawei is an arm of the CCP's surveillance state that censors political dessidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China.

The US action comes a day after the UK announced its decision to ban British companies from buying Huawei-produced equipment for 5G networks from the end of the year.

US President Donald Trump called Chinese technology "untrustworthy".

"We confronted untrustworthy Chinese technology and telecom providers. We convinced many countries not to use Huawei because it's a big security risk. Just today, the UK announced that they are not going to be using it," Trump had said on Wednesday.

The United States had designated Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE Corp as national security threats, says they have close ties with the Chinese Communist Party and China's military apparatus. (ANI)

Rajnath Singh to visit Amarnath Temple today

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (File Photo/ANI)

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], July 18 (ANI): A day after sending a strong message to China from Lukung, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Amarnath cave temple, Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

The Defence Minister is on a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief General MM Naravane are also accompanying him.

He will take stock of the situation at both the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Line of Control (LOC).

On the first day of his visit , the Defence Minister interacted with the troops in Lukung, Ladakh along with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane, yesterday.

"Talks are underway to resolve the border dispute but to what extent it can be resolved I cannot guarantee. I can assure you, not one inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world," he said referring to India-China standoff while he interacted with the Indian Army and ITBP personnel at Lukung.

Emphasising on finding a diplomatic solution to the standoff, he further said, "If a solution can be found by talks, there is nothing better."

"Recently what happened between troops of India and China at PP14, how some of our personnel sacrificed their lives protecting our border. I am happy to meet you all but also saddened because of their loss. I pay my tributes to them," he added.

While Pakistan has been continuously carrying out ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and China has been carrying out incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh region in recent past.
On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers laid out their lives during combat with Chinese forces in Galwan valley, leading to tensions between both nations. Chinese soldiers subsequently started moving back following dialogues between two countries through the military level and diplomatic level. (ANI)

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