Satellite Images Suggest China’s Activity Before Border Clash With India

Harin - Jun 19, 2020


Satellite Images Suggest China’s Activity Before Border Clash With India

Satellite images suggest that days before the border clash, China brought in equipment, cut a trail into the Himalayas, and may have blocked a river.

Satellite images suggest that days before the violent border clash with India, China brought in equipment, cut a trail into the Himalayas, and may have blocked a river.

The images were taken on June 13, a day after the soldiers were in hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan Valley. They show that China started to increase its activity in the region starting from a week ago.

Jeffrey Lew, the East Asia Nonproliferation Program’s director, added that both China and India had mobilized vehicles to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), China with more than 100 vehicles and India with about 30 to 40 vehicles.

Indian Troops
Both China and India had mobilized vehicles to the Line of Actual Control.

The border clash between India and China on June 15 evening could be considered the most serious in over 40 years. India claimed that 20 of its soldiers were killed, while China did not mention casualties. The two sides continue to blame each other despite reaching an agreement to de-escalate.

Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said he did not know the details of the border clash but accused Indian troops of having invaded the Chinese-controlled areas at least twice in the past few days before the incident.

Meanwhile, Indian government sources countered by saying that Chinese soldiers had built two tents as well as observation towers on the Indian side of the LAC, triggering the fighting.

Galwan Valley Clash
The two sides continue to blame each other despite reaching an agreement to de-escalate.

The small observation posts and two tents were then demolished and burnt by the Indian party. Debris from the observation posts can be seen in the satellite images, which weren’t there a week earlier.

The Indian troops with Colonel Santosh Babu as the leader were confronted by a large group of soldiers from the Chinese side. With the engagement rules at the LAC, they were lightly armed.

Since 1967, India and China have not engaged in border clash involving gunfire even though there were occasional flare-ups.

Indians Boycott Chinese Products
Indians started boycotting Chinese products after the border clash.

The two sides soon started fighting with the Chinese using batons with spikes and iron rods. Colonel Babu was among the 20 victims. More Indian soldiers joined in the fight, which then turned into a brawl lasting for hours with 900 soldiers involved.

>>> At Least 20 Indian Personnel And 43 Chinese Troops Killed In Border Dispute Between India And China

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