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Deepnews Digest #72

India-China Border Battle

After increasing tensions along the “Line of Actual Control” in the Himalayas, this week saw the deadliest clash between Indian and Chinese forces for decades. It came during a complex time, a global pandemic, and is by itself a complex story with questions of the region’s history, global geopolitics, and what has been happening in Kashmir in recent years. While many of our readers may be unfamiliar with the background, these pieces of analysis and reporting gathered with the Deepnews Scoring Model are a good place to start.
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Published every Friday

Times of India

Simultaneous face-offs in several areas make it different this time

After the India Army released a statement stating that casualties have been suffered by both sides in “violent face-off” during the de-escalation process with China in Galwan Valley, Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in an official statement said that the violent face-off in Eastern Ladakh took place because of China’s attempts to unilaterally change status quo.

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The Week (India)

In 1962 war, Galwan Valley was a flashpoint. Why is China now claiming sovereignty over it?

For the first time since 1975, casualties were reported along the Sino-Indian border, as 20 Indian Army personnel, including a colonel, were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh. This is the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region.

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Editor’s Note:

One of the biggest points of background for the current situation is 1962, when the disputed border was a significant cause of the Sino-Indian War. Here The Week looks back nearly 60 years at what led to open conflict.

The Telegraph (UK)

The uneasy truce between China and India is effectively dead

Analysis: The 21st century was supposed to be the Asian century. What has happened in Ladakh is a turning point

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Scroll.in

Taking on China’s expansionism won’t be easy, but transparency by India with its citizens would help

Prime Minister Modi has promised a ‘fitting reply’. He can start by offering the facts on the ground and building a national consensus.

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New Indian Express

Coping with the Chinese challenge

India has to make its way speedily up the economic and military ladder to take on the hegemonistic dragon.

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Al Jazeera

India-China border tension: A new flashpoint in South Asia

Deadly violence in Himalayan region after thousands of troops from both sides face-off for weeks.

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South China Morning Post

China-India border clash pushes relations to new low, observers say

Beijing and New Delhi have blamed each other for the fighting on Monday along the disputed Himalayan border that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead

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The Hindu

Comment | Reimagining India-China border roads

Analysts point out that there has been a fundamental difference between the Indian and Chinese approach.

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Editor’s Note:

Part of the story of the current clash is infrastructure. Here Atul Aneja, writing before the latest violence, talks to experts about border roads.

The Wire

There is a Global Dimension to the India-China Confrontation in Ladakh

It has been a frenetic five weeks of a suddenly “unquiet front” in Ladakh between India and China. The saga began with simultaneous reports of a helicopter chase on May 5 and scuffles around the high-altitude Pangong Lake. There followed reports that the Chinese had doubled (to six) the number of boats on the lake, which is bisected by the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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Indian Express

Untying the India-China knot

To begin with, China must respect the existing agreements between the two sides and refrain from any unilateral action.

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Bloomberg

The China-India Border Dispute Just Got Real

With 20 of its troops dead, India may turn to the U.S. as a bulwark against Chinese aggression.

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Sydney Morning Herald

‘Message or a mess’: India-China clash in the Himalayas inflames tensions

Tensions between the world’s two most populous countries have risen to their highest levels in more than four decades after dozens of Chinese and Indian soldiers were reportedly killed in hand-to-hand combat in the Himalayas.

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Brookings Institute

As India and China clash, JFK’s ‘forgotten crisis’ is back

The deadly clash this week between India and China in the Himalayas is the worst crisis in their border quarrel since 1967. It may escalate to the worst since the 1962 Sino-Indian War, which almost brought the United States to war with China. The COVID-19 pandemic makes the current situation worse, it’s hard to be cool-headed in the midst of a humanitarian disaster on both sides of the disputed border. Pakistan is also a very interested player, watching the game play out just as it did in 1962 and hoping its rival India will be humiliated.

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Editor’s Note:

Speaking of history, some of our American readers may be interested in the role that one of the world’s superpowers played back in 1962. Here Bruce Riedel writes for Brookings on issues such as military support and the role of Pakistan.

The Wire

‘Two Steps Forward, One Step Back’: The Chequered Story of India and China’s Border Tensions

New Delhi, June 17: Eighteen Army personnel sustained injuries during the violent clash with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on Monday night and they are undergoing treatment at a military hospital, people familiar with the matter said.

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The Hindu

History, the stand-off, and policy worth rereading

Even as India grapples with its next steps at the LAC, it must not lose sight of renewing its compact with the ‘five fingers’

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CNN

A border dispute with China may push India closer to some of Beijing’s top rivals

While both governments are now scrambling to deescalate, the conflict could provide the final push for a pivot already begun by New Delhi, away from Beijing and towards China’s traditional rivals, the United States and Japan, as well as a growing regional one, Australia. As India seeks to push back against what many in the country view as Chinese aggression, it will rely on these allies more than ever.

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Economic Times (Times of India)

‘Leverage China’s vulnerabilities in Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang’

In order to answer these and similar questions, we need to put out of our minds (for the time being) the recent events in Ladakh and focus on the long term, strategic issues which animate China.

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Editor’s Note:

In the Indian press, many of the pieces ask how the government will respond to what is viewed as an act of aggression. Here a former diplomat analyzes things and makes a suggestion to play the long game.

Foreign Policy

Why Are India and China Fighting?

Nuclear powers New Delhi and Beijing engage in a skirmish marking the first combat deaths along their border in more than four decades.

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Moneycontrol

India-China Ties | Incessant problems and the mirage of peace

Though incursions have been a part of India-China border management, in recent times they have become more aggressive

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Reuters

Economics lies behind Indo-China border clash

Economic roads between India and China may prove as fraught as the real ones running through the Himalayas.

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