Indian army says ‘no soldier in Chinese custody’: Live updates | India News

  • The Indian army says none of its soldiers is missing following the “violent face-off” with Chinese troops, according to a report by India’s NDTV network.

  • Indian and Chinese army officers are reportedly holding talks to end the deadly standoff in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

Here are the latest updates:

18:30 GMT – Satellite images show Chinese activity at border before clash

In the days leading up to the most violent border clash between India and China in decades, China brought in pieces of machinery, cut a trail into a Himalayan mountainside and may have even dammed a river, satellite pictures suggest.

The images, shot on Tuesday, a day after soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the freezing Galwan Valley, show an increase in activity from a week earlier.

The satellite pictures, taken by Earth-imaging company Planet Labs and obtained by Reuters news agency, show signs of altering the landscape of the valley through widening tracks, moving earth and making river crossings, one expert said.

The images shows machinery along the bald mountains and in the Galwan River.

China build up

Build up at the Line of Actual Control (LAV) on the disputed border between China and India is seen in this handout satellite image of Pangong Lake courtesy of Planet Labs taken May 27, 2020 [Reuters]

17:40 GMT – 56 wounded Indian soldiers can return to work in a week: Report

The 76 Indian soldiers wounded in a clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley are all in stable condition, sources told NDTV.

Of the wounded, 56 have been cleared to return to work in a week, according to NDTV. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. 

india military

An Indian army soldier guards atop one of the vehicles as an army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway northeast of Srinagar [Mukhtar Khan/The Associated Press]

16:30 GMT – Third round of military talks make headway: Indian media

Talks between Chinese and Indian generals in the Galwan Valley have made headway, sources told the Indian Express without elaborating.

Thursday’s meeting was the third since deadly clashes late Monday into early Tuesday left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The newspaper reported that the talks have not yet lead to de-escalation at several face-off points along the border. 

A fourth meeting is planned for Friday. 

15:40 GMT – India plans extra tariffs, trade barriers on 300 imported products from China: Report

India plans to impose higher trade barriers and raise import duties on around 300 products from China and elsewhere, two government officials told Reuters news agency, as part of an effort to protect domestic businesses.

The plan has been under review since at least April, according to a government document seen by Reuters, and is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recently announced self-reliance campaign to promote local products.

The new duty structures are likely to be gradually outlined over the next three months, said the sources, who asked not to be named as the plan is still being finalised.

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14:30 GMT – Global Times editorial says ‘Indian nationalism will harm business ties’

China’s Communist party newspaper the Global Times has said in an editorial that “Indian nationalism will harm business ties” with China. 

The warning comes as a movement to boycott Chinese goods has grown in India. New Delhi on Thursday also reportedly told state firms not to use Chinese-made equipment to upgrade their systems to 4G. 

“If the boiling nationalist sentiment continues unchecked in India, it may lead to serious consequences in extreme cases, which would only weaken that market’s appeal to the outside world, making it easier to be replaced with other Southeast Asian markets,” the editorial said, noting that Chinese company Oppo had canceled it’s live launch of its 5G mobile phone in the wake of the deadly clash between the two countries.

India boycott china

Abhishek Soni, owner of an electronics shop, holds a notice for boycotting Chinese products in Gauhati, India [Anupam Nath/The Associated Press]

13:30 GMT – India to join June 23 trilateral meeting with Russia, China

India will take part in a trilateral meeting with Russia and China next week, India’s foreign ministry has said days after Indian and Chinese troops clashed on a remote Himalayan border, leaving at least 20 people dead.

India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, will join the June 23 meeting, which will be held virtually, ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava told reporters in New Delhi.

India and China have each blamed the other for the border clash, the deadliest in several decades, which came even as both sides were attempting to resolve their weeks-long standoff in the Ladakh region

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12:02 GMT – India tells state firms ‘not to use China telecoms gear’

India has told two state-run telecommunications firms to use locally-made rather than Chinese equipment to upgrade their mobile networks to 4G, a senior government source has told the Reuters News Agency.

The instruction is aimed at Chinese telecommunications gear makers Huawei and ZTE, the source said, after India last year announced an almost $8bn plan, some of which was earmarked for network upgrades, to help loss-making operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL).

“Since that plan will be funded by public money they (BSNL, MTNL) should try to ensure they buy made in India equipment,” the government source, who declined to be named as the order was not public, told Reuters.

11:37 GMT – All troops on border duty carry arms: India minister

Responding to questions tweeted by a prominent opposition leader, India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has said all the soldiers posted in border areas carry firearms.

“Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs,” Jaishankar posted on Twitter in response to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet.

“How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom?” Gandhi had posted on Twitter earlier on Thursday.

11:11 GMT – Indian army says ‘no soldier in Chinese custody’

The Indian army has said none of its soldiers is missing following the “violent face-off” with Chinese troops on Monday night, India’s NDTV network has reported.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and four others critically wounded in the hand-to-hand combat in a disputed frontier area in Indian-administered Ladakh region. China has not yet disclosed if it suffered any casualties.

“It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action: Indian Army sources,” said a tweet by the local ANI news agency.

10:49 GMT – Indians burn photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping

Indians have burned photographs of Chinese President Xi Jinping as anger grew over the brutal hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the disputed mountainous border region.

Residents in the northern city of Kanpur held a mock funeral of Xi and burned his portrait, shouting anti-China slogans. In the eastern Indian city of Cuttack, an effigy of Xi and a Chinese flag were burned.

China’s Oppo cancelled the live online launch of its flagship smartphone as calls for a boycott of Chinese products gained traction across India.

Indians burn photographs of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest against the Chinese government in Lucknow , India , Wednesday, June 17, 2020. As some commentators clamored for revenge, India

Indians burn photographs of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest against China in Lucknow [Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo]

10:28 GMT – Project Force: What is behind China’s naval ambitions?

The Chinese navy, or the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy), now has two fully-functioning aircraft carriers, the Soviet-era Liaoning and the new, domestically-built Shandong.

While seriously enhancing China’s ability to project combat power beyond its own coastline, they are also being used to train cadres of naval officers and pilots in the complex business of efficiently running aircraft carrier groups.

Rapidly developing this body of expertise is no easy feat but President Xi Jinping has big plans.

Read more here.

10:09 GMT – China says it agreed to ‘cooling down’ at border

China says it has agreed to a “cooling down” of tensions along its border with India following a fatal clash there earlier this week.

“The two sides agreed to deal fairly with the serious events caused by the conflict in the Galwan Valley,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a news conference.

He said that the two nations would “abide by the consensus reached at the meeting of the military commanders of the two countries” and “maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas”.

09:45 GMT – Global Times column invokes China’s Bollywood ties

Responding to a call across India to boycott Chinese products, a columnist in pro-Beijing Global Times says such moves are “irrational” and may have “unpredictable consequences” for China-India relations.

Columnist Ai Pang wrote that relations between the two Asian powers have been “growing closer and closer through hit Bollywood films” released in China.

“It’s hard to believe that these hateful comments and opinions from some Indian netizens on social media platforms like Twitter are coming from the country shown in movies such as Dangal [Wrestling Competition], Secret Superstar and Hindi Medium, which depicts the people of the country as honest, friendly and modest,” Ai said.

09:01 GMT – Families of fallen Indian soldiers demand justice 

The Indian army has begun handing over the bodies of the soldiers killed by Chinese troops in the disputed Galwan Valley – the worst clash in over half a century between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Indian soldiers who survived the clash said the Chinese used bamboo sticks studded with nails during the confrontation in sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain, while the Indians used stones and sticks.

Under an agreement forged in the 1990s, the two armies carry but do not use arms near the border.

India China families

The father and mother of Indian army’s Colonel B Santosh Babu, who was killed in border clashes with Chinese troops, sit next to his portrait, in Suryapet in Telangana state [Reuters]

China said its troops were engaged in a “violent physical confrontation” with Indian soldiers, but has given no details on casualties.

Families of the fallen Indian soldiers and other citizens demanded Modi find diplomatic and strategic ways to punish China.

07:45 GMT – India ‘deliberately provoked’ Ladakh clash: China

China’s foreign ministry has accused India of “deliberately provoking and attacking” Chinese troops during Monday’s “violent face-off” in the disputed Ladakh region.

“Indian front-line troops broke the consensus and crossed the Line of Actual Control, deliberately provoking and attacking Chinese officers and soldiers, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties,” Hua Chunying, ministry spokesperson tweeted.

“India must not misjudge the current situation or underestimate China’s firm will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty,” she posted.

06:40 GMT – India, China army officers hold talks: Report

Top Indian and Chinese military officers are holding talks in the disputed Galwan Valley to find a resolution to their month-long standoff, India’s NDTV network has reported.

The first round of talks held on Wednesday following the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops on Monday had remained inconclusive.

Galwan Valley, which lies along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in eastern Indian-administered Ladakh, is claimed by both nations.

06:29 GMT – India prepares to hold funerals for soldiers killed in border clash

Families across India are preparing to hold funerals for some of the 20 soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the disputed mountainous border region.

Dozens of people lined the street in the southern town of Suryapet as the body of army Colonel B Santosh Babu was brought home, wrapped in the Indian flag.

Funerals will be held for other soldiers in their hometowns and villages, including several in the eastern state of Bihar.

India funeral

A truck carrying the coffin of Indian army officer Colonel B Santosh Babu arrives in Suryapet, about 140km from Hyderabad [Mahesh Kumar A/AP]

06:01 GMT – India to share UNSC table with China

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has elected India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland as the four non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for 2021 and 2022.

The result means India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations traded blame for a brawl along the disputed Himalayan border that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

India – which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded UNSC – ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.

05:47 GMT – BJP leaders call for boycott of Chinese goods

Hardline nationalist groups tied to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have stepped up calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and cancellation of contracts with Chinese firms.

“In the current situation, the China issue should not be taken lightly… In many cases, there may be Chinese money invested, but I think the regular things we buy from the market, one should certainly make sure that we avoid Chinese products,” Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Economic Times newspaper.

The minister also called for a boycott of Chinese food. “Restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned. I appeal to people to boycott Chinese food,” he told the local ANI news agency.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said the government will “honour the sentiments” of Indians who want economic measures to be taken “at another level”.

“We import chemicals, mobile phone parts and buttons. Are they so essential to be imported? They can be manufactured in India. We should reduce imports from other coutries but specifically from China. If people want to boycott Chinese products, we respect their sentiments,” he told ANI.

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