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China’s claim on the Galwan Valley: A Sovereign Quagmire

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lays acclaims that The Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese boundary of LAC - the Sino-Indian border.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi castigated India for unilaterally constructing bridges, roads and other facilities in the Galwan Valley and soon after Modi’s recent statement on ‘No Intrusion of Territories or Regions’, acclaimed that The Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese boundary of LAC- the Sino-Indian border.

Regional Intrusions from the past:

The LAC courses at the east of the convergence of the Galwan and Shyok rivers where River Galwan flows from the disputed Aksai Chin region to Ladakh of India and River Shyok flows through northern Ladakh and enters Gilgit–Baltistan. The Sino-Indian border skirmish episode took place on the Indian side of the LAC on 15th June causing the martyr of 20 Indian soldiers and 43 Chinese military casualties ( the datum of casualties is still kept confidential by China).


Galwan Valley was a flashpoint in the 1962 war, five decades later, China claims it’s sovereignty ‘now’ through diplomatic and militant forces. The two Asian Nuclear Giants signed the Sino-Indian Bilateral Peace and Tranquility Accords in 1993 and 1996, but within the past 5 weeks, both the countries have demonstrated the largest confrontational dispute in the areas including Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh.



China’s intrusive claim over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh and India’s undisputed lay on the Galwan Valley isn’t new. The Indian-China spar on Maps has come a long way from the last skirmish in 1975 to a violent stand-off in 2020.


Historical Nostalgia for the Nuclear Twins:

A Geographical Map that depicts the regional breach along LAC.

The Government, in a statement, asserted that the Galwan violent stand-off blew up because the Chinese were trying to ground upright construction across the LAC, which was certainly not a contention zone.

As affirmed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese military troop has been patrolling and performing operational duties at the border for a long time. But the Indian defence forces have tried to cross the Galwan Estuary even after commitments from Indian Commandos, intensifying border disputes and causing hindrance to the patrolling border guards by building upright structures in the region.


On 16th June, the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command spokesman Colonel Zhang Shuili stated that “China always owns sovereignty over the Galwan valley region”. In retaliation to the PLA statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs deemed the claims as “exaggerated and untenable”. – (inputs from The Hindu)


Tripping down to History, subsequent to the 1962 war, on November 1959, the Chinese declared that they had receded 20 km behind the LAC. India’s designation to this claim was sheer rejection, but later on, a border settlement was confirmed, maps were shared from the western side but never ‘exchanged’. In conclusion, there is no map that demarcates India’s claim on the border. However, China has a functional map that proves their historical data and geographical proclamation regarding the Galwan valley.


How is Galwan strategically important to both?

Investigation of the recent Border tensions in the Galwan area via geospatial data helps identify ongoing earthwork developments & accelerated strategic changes at both ends by India and China. Image Credits: Twitter


The Galwan Estuary seems to manifest strategic benefits for both the countries, as the Galwan river is a prominent terminal moraine and it paves the way for Chinese domination on the Shyok route, which is nearby the river. Chinese adamantly are in control of this area as they anticipate consequential position confinements through means of the river valley by the Indians on the Aksai Chin plateau.



This concludes that there is a deeper bowel bottom at the crest line which stretches between LAC and the Chinese G219 highway, this 179 km long highway was built back then without India’s consent which proves that India has no domination over the heights of the valley range.


As for India, as Mr. Zhang of CASS claims, the valley could provide an ample supply of water resources and essential channelisation that links China and South Asia. With reference to the recent construction of bridges and roads despite the refusal and deterrent insists from the Chinese, India’s non-compliance suggested its intends to fortify its authority enhancement over Ladakh and Kashmir, thereby conspiring stratagems against Pakistan and China and the attainment of its geographical advantages.





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