Home Asia New Developments in Galwan

New Developments in Galwan

It’s already been more than a year since the clash between the Indian Army and People Liberation Army (PLA) happened. The situation went out of control and led to the death of 20 Indian and 5 Chinese soldiers. This incident was just the starting of the months of build-up of forces on both side of the Line of Actual Control and face-off in the Pangong Tso region. It was suspected that all these incidents will ultimately lead to a war between India and China.

India and China’s clash bought a lot of attention from across the world, some favoured India and others just wanted these clashes not to turn into a war. While US administration under Trump accused the Chinese for this aggressive action on the other hand Russia played as a steady role and considered this something that could be solved within each other and didn’t need any assistance. 

As there were a large number of talks both politically and militarily to put peace into region, India took up to them to lessen the dependency on China and the Chinese products. Restrictions were announced on Chinese technology companies in India. 

Despite these developments, India could not avoid China during the meetings such as BRICS, Russia-India-China dialogue and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In the first month of the year, trade was 70.1% which is $48.16 million. In this sense, China-India trade seemed to have ignored the political and military tension arising from the Galwan incident.

New Developments:  

According to Intelligence inputs, Chinese troops have been replaced. China’s 4th and 6th divisions were replaced by 8th and 11th. Each division has two mobile infantry regiments, armoured regiments, an artillery regiment and air defence regiments. 

The PLA conducted exercise in Tibet and opposite Arunchal Pradesh. For an example, small arms’ training at Shigatse was conducted in Tibet. In early May, Chinese State media reported PLA had deployed new long range heavy rocket artillery in the border region at an altitude of 5,200 metres. Recently, training was conducted on the opposite of Tawang in Arunchal Pradesh by a regiment from Shannan Army division.  Although both sides have emptied the Kailash ranges of the south bank, however there has been no progress in talks of disengagement at Gogra and Hotspring as well as in Demchok and the strategic Depsang Valley. 

New reports suggest that the Chinese still have occupied the region which is claimed to be Indian and this has changed the LAC completely. These areas include the Depsang Plains, Kugrang river valley adjacent to Hot spring Gogra and the Charding Nala south of Demchok. This has prevented Indian Border Forces from patrolling the areas as they used to do before. 


  • Insist on status quo ante in Ladakh. Refuse to back down and put diplomatic pressure on China. 
  • We need to work out new and more reality based measures with PLA to come up with policies so that stability and peace could be established along the border.
  • India although have a strong border defence in place yet we need to identify the weakness and find solutions about the same.
  • Indian surveillance capabilities along the LAC should be made stronger. Like China uses drones and cameras at the border, India can do the same.
    There is a need to enhance the military capacity across the LAC.
  • Combined with the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) can be made stronger and effective to handle such incidents.
  • India can try to better its relationship with Pakistan and weaken the China-Pakistan nexus. 
  • India can provide more assistance and use “Tibet card” to help find a peaceful solution to the above. India can use Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” to help Tibet come into a peaceful agreement with China which will also wash off the doubt that India is taking advantage of Sino-Tibet conflict.
  • India needs to build up their security and safeguard its Indian Ocean. Quad can be used as a military alliance and support from US, Japan and Australia can help in military dealing. Forums like these will help to keep a close eye and check on China.
  • We need to decrease our dependency on China. India needs to come up with long run strategy to untangle itself from them. And we need to enhance our economic, military and technology as we still have far to come in comparison with China. Projects like ‘Make in India’ need to be encouraged and put on the fast phase. Domestic industries and products need to be encouraged. 
  • India needs to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) whereas it needs to strengthen its role and position in organisations like South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

With China’s increase in pressure and aggressiveness around the globe, it will only help India to find support and strength from the other countries. But it is also important for us to develop and strengthen our domestic front to stand firm against Chinese aggression both politically and militarily. India needs to carefully calculate the costs and benefits of its relationship with China and  needs to find a balanced platform of cooperation and conflict.