World War 3: India pressured to toughen stance on China as deadly border clashes continue

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On June 15, dozens of people were killed when Chinese and Indian forces clashed in a disputed area of the Himalayas called the Galwan Valley. It is a remove region on what is known as the Line of Actual control – a dividing line between India and China.

The brawl – which involved handheld weapons rather than guns – resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. China has not confirmed how many of its own forces were killed.

Since then, there have been at least 11 meetings between senior officials from China and India to ease tensions between the two.

Now, a group of analysts and military veterans are calling on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step up the country’s response to Beijing.

Brahma Chellaney, strategic studies professor at New Delhi-based think tank the Centre for Policy Research, said: “As a warning shot across China’s bow, India should rescind its 2006 decision allowing China to reopen its consulate in Kolkata.

“That decision was made despite Beijing’s refusal to let India reopen its Lhasa consulate.”

Already, India has imposed a range of sanctions on China, including banning Chinese companies from being involved in Indian road projects, the South China Morning Post reports.

India has also cracked down on the import of Chinese technology in its energy industry, and has banned 59 Chinese apps due to national security concerns.

In addition, multiple Chinese projects in India have been put on hold, including a $500 million car factory.

READ: China punished by India in major new row over trade as border tensions erupt

Following the fatal border clash, calls for a boycott of Chinese goods in India erupted, with Mr Modi calling for a more “self-reliant India”.

However, Pravin Sawhney, a former military officer and editor of Indian military magazine Force, has claimed China “holds all the cards right now.”

Mr Sawhney added India could explore ties with Russia, which he said “sees itself as a balancing power in Eurasia and wants India and China to talk.”

He added: “We must activate the Russia-India-China trilateral forum immediately,” SCMP reports.

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China has previously said it hopes India will “meet China hallway” to “restore peace and stability” on the border between the two nations.

However, it also claims the clash that took place on June 15 was the result of “reckless actions” by Indian forces and said “responsibility is entirely not on the China side.”

An Indian government statement shortly following the fight claimed Chinese troops had tried to erect a structure of some kind on India’s side of the Line of Actual Control.

Since then, a number of talks have been held. After the fourth round concluded in mid-July, Chinese ministers hailed progress.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “The two sides have made positive progress on pushing forward the disengagement of the front-line troops on the western section of the border and easing the border tension.”

However, some analysts have said there is little sign of any breakthrough at the time of writing.

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