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Indian Troops Allowed To Use Firearms In Border Standoff With China: Reports

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Indian Troops Allowed To Use Firearms In Border Standoff With China: Reports

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On June 21st, Indian media reported that the Indian troops alongside the border with China had been given the order to use firearms in “extraordinary situations.”

Chinese state-media Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that if the new ‘rules of engagement’ are true, it’s a serious violation of prior treaties implemented for deescalation.

The Hindustan summarized the change, which is a result of the clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers, in which at least 20 Indian troops died, and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers also perished.

“A significant change in Rules of Engagement (ROE) by the Indian Army following the Galwan Valley skirmish that left 20 Indian soldiers dead gives “complete freedom of action” to commanders deployed along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) to “handle situations at the tactical level,” two senior officers said on Saturday on condition of anonymity.

The commanders will no longer be bound by restrictions on the use of firearms and will have full authority to respond to “extraordinary situations” using all resources at their disposal, said one of the officers cited above.”

On June 22nd, the Corps Commanders of the Indian and Chinese armies are holding another round of talks at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting point in eastern Ladakh to de-escalate the ongoing tension between the two countries.

It is unclear how the issue originated, since both sides blame the other.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he was unaware of the specifics but that the Indian army had crossed into Chinese territory in several places in recent days – violating the agreement reached on June 6 – and that they should withdraw.

Calling it a “deliberate provocation” on New Delhi’s part, Zhao said: “The rights and wrongs… are very clear and the responsibility rests entirely with the Indian side.”

In response, India’s foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava cautioned China against making “exaggerated and untenable claims” on the sovereignty of the Galwan Valley area.

India says China occupies 38,000 sq km of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau in the Himalayas, with 12,000 Chinese soldiers reportedly pushing across the border.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi categorically refuted claims of China’s takeover of any Indian territory – his statement contrasting with the government’s earlier claims.

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