Connect with us

World

India-China border talks: Four things you should know

Avatar

Published

on

Indian and Chinese officials are holding talks to try to resolve a months-long standoff along their disputed frontier, where the two countries have deployed tens of thousands of soldiers.

More than a dozen rounds of talks so far have failed to break the border stalemate.

Experts say India’s stripping part of the disputed Kashmir region – which lies between India, Pakistan and China – of its autonomy a year ago exacerbated existing tensions with China and culminated in the deadliest clash between the Asian giants in more 45 years.

China saw this as a unilateral move that threatened its territorial sovereignty and condemned it at the United Nations.

The ongoing standoff in the Karakoram mountains is over disputed portions of a pristine landscape that boasts the world’s highest landing strip, a glacier that feeds one of the largest irrigation systems in the world, and a critical link to China’s massive “Belt and Road” infrastructure project.

Some key background on the issue:

Where is Kashmir and who controls it?

The Himalayan territory of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. Its eastern edge, the cold, high-altitude desert region of Ladakh, borders China on one side and Pakistan on the other and is home to the world’s only three-way, nuclear-armed junction.

Experts and some Chinese commentators have said New Delhi’s unilateral changes in Kashmir spawned the border tensions between the Asian giants [File: Danish Ismail/Reuters]

Pakistan and India have rival claims to Kashmir that date to the British Raj’s Partition in 1947, and have gone to war twice over them. Each country administers a portion of the region.

Many ethnic Kashmiri Muslims on the Indian side support an armed movement that demands the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

In August 2019, New Delhi stripped Indian-administered Kashmir of its statehood, demoting it to a federal territory, and clamped down on dissent.

The region’s decades-old semi-autonomy, which protected jobs and land from outsiders, was also scrapped.

New Delhi also carved out Ladakh as a separate federal territory.

How does China view Kashmir?

China and India went to war over their disputed border issues in a 1962 conflict that spilled into Ladakh and ended with an uneasy truce.

Since then, troops from opposing sides have guarded the undefined, mountainous 3,500km-long (2,200-mile) border area, occasionally brawling.

At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 during a scuffle with Chinese soldiers in Galwan Valley [File: Reuters]

They agreed not to attack each other with firearms. But on June 15, soldiers from the two sides fought with clubs, stones and fists, leading to 20 Indian soldiers succumbing to their injuries in the freezing temperatures. It was the deadliest fighting between the sides in 45 years.

Experts and some Chinese commentators have said New Delhi’s unilateral changes in Kashmir spawned the border tensions between the Asian giants.

The change “forced China into the Kashmir dispute,” Wang Shida, a South Asia expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a Beijing-based think-tank, wrote in a recent report.

The Chinese foreign ministry expressed its opinion clearly the day after the status change: “India has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law … Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force.”

China later joined Pakistan in condemning India’s move at the UN Security Council.

Perhaps more vitally for Beijing, parts of Kashmir fall within its “Belt and Road” initiative, a massive, cross-continental infrastructure development project aimed at expanding China’s commercial connections globally.

China’s expansive road network crosses through Aksai Chin, a region it has held since 1950 and claimed by India as part of Ladakh.

It connects the restive, Chinese-controlled provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang before snaking north of Indian-administered Kashmir and cutting down through the Pakistani-administered portion of the region towards Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea.

“China perceived the constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir as a threat” to Chinese interests in the region, specifically infrastructure projects linking China with Pakistan through Kashmiri territories controlled by Pakistan, said Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, India’s director-general for military operations from 2012 to 2014.

He said calls by India’s powerful home minister and other leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party for the “liberation” of Aksai Chin further provoked China’s “aggressive behaviour”.

The US factor

A growing strategic alliance between India and the United States has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as an attempt to block its rise to power.

Indian soldiers walk at the foothills of a mountain range near Leh, the capital of Ladakh [File: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP]

Now, the India-China conflict threatens to exacerbate tensions between China and the US. The two have locked horns this year over a range of issues, from trade disputes and human rights to Hong Kong’s status and the initial response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While New Delhi unilaterally changing Kashmir’s constitutional status has been an “immediate provocation for China,” according to Pravin Sawhney, a defence analyst and China expert, its military posturing along the disputed border in Ladakh also reflects a “compelling narrative that India is siding with the US.”

Wang Lian, an India specialist at Peking University in Beijing, said China expects to see Modi leveraging the recent border clashes as a way to draw in more US support.

“He may use the current complicated China-US relations in attempt to gain a better position that will maximise India’s interests,” Lian said, adding that Modi might also “try to use its domestic and international situation to find a better position in border negotiations with China.”

How Kashmiris view the power struggle

Since the mid-June army clashes between China and India, residents of Ladakh’s towns, dotted with Buddhist temples and cafes for mountaineering tourists, have watched uneasily as Indian troops brought in fighter jets, artillery and construction materials. The activity has marked one of the most significant military buildups in decades.

“We’ve never seen anything like this. Not even in 1999 when Indian and Pakistani soldiers fought for months in neighbouring Kargil Heights,” said Tsering Angchuk, a wool trader.

Feelings are different in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, where India-China tensions have energised anti-India sentiment.

In Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, demonstrators on June 21 jeered at Indian soldiers, shouting: “China is coming!”

“We hope powerful China’s involvement helps us to end India’s occupation of Kashmir,” said dried fruit merchant Nazir Ahmed.

An Indian fighter jet flies over Leh after the deadly border clashes between India and China [File: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP]

Read More

Armenian Aggression

Prices of Azerbaijani oil continue to grow

Avatar

Published

on

By Trend

The price of Azeri LT CIF Augusta, produced at the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field, increased by $1.14 on Oct.22 compared to the previous price, reaching $42.63 per barrel, Trend reports with reference to the source from the country's oil and gas market.

The price of Azeri LT FOB Ceyhan amounted to $42.13 per barrel in Oct.22, which is up by $1.12 compared to the previous price.

Azerbaijan has been producing Azeri LT since 1997 and exporting it via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Baku-Supsa Western Export Pipeline, as well as by rail to the Georgian port of Batumi.

Azerbaijan also sells its URALS oil from the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, delivering it through the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline.

The price of URALS with shipment from the port reached $41.85 per barrel in Oct.22, having grown by 98 cents compared to the previous price.

The cost of a barrel of Brent Dated oil, produced in the North Sea, made up $41.52 per barrel, up by $1.05 compared to the previous price.

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

Original Article

Continue Reading

Armenian Aggression

Chairman of US Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association appeals to US Ambassador in Azerbaijan

Avatar

Published

on

By Trend

Chairman of the U.S. Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association Nail Akhundzade sent an appeal to US Ambassador in Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger, Trend reports.

“We the U.S. Educated Azerbaijani Alumni have always taken pride and the pleasure of being ambassadors of the U.S. culture and values in Azerbaijan and unanimously share an uncompromised and strong belief that our voice matters, in both Azerbaijan and the U.S. This belief stems from the dedicated support and encouragement we have always received from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Baku,” the letter said.

“Confiding in that belief, we decided to write this open letter directly to you.

Mr. Ambassador, as you are aware, as of September 27, 2020 – the day when the Republic of Armenia started its military aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan – we have to wake up every day with the alarming and saddening news of innocent civilian people losing their lives and being hurt and wounded in Azerbaijan. Additionally, despite the signed humanitarian ceasefire, the Armenian Army continues the shelling of civilian targets in Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Terter, Fuzuli, Aghdam, and Mingachevir. As a result, civilians, including children and women are being killed, injured and many civilian facilities are being destroyed,” the letter said.

“Sadly, though, this outrageous illegal behavior of Armenia does not get enough coverage in the U.S. media and political circles. Rather, we often see biased, infatuated statements by U.S. media and politicians on the nature of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and on the identification of the true aggressor,” the appeal said.

“Using the opportunity, we wish to ask you to support us with the communication of our position at the U.S State Department and Congress as outlined in the attached Summary. We thank you in advance for your time and efforts in advance and looking forward to hearing from you soon. We wish you a nice week, strength, and inspiration for the noble work you are doing in Azerbaijan!” the letter said.

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

Original Article

Continue Reading

Armenian Aggression

Israel sends humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan

Avatar

Published

on

By Trend

Israel sent humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan. This information was posted on the Twitter page of the Israeli embassy, Trend reports on Oct. 23.

The medical supplies sent from Israel to Azerbaijan have been transferred to the country's clinics. Humanitarian aid is still sent.

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

Original Article

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending