Former foreign secretary of India and an expert on Sino-Indian relations, Nirupama Rao, has said that 'the gloves are off' between India and China border tensions and a bad moon is rising over the two countries' relations.
Rao, who served as India's foreign secretary between 2009 and 2011, raised concerns over the Chinese Army's response in a thread of Twitter posts and pointed that it was worthy of scrutiny.
Rao tweeted: The official #PLA statement on the tragic #Galwan face-off is worth scrutiny: it refers to the Galwan Valley as being “on the China-Indian border” and that the Indian Army “crossed” the #LAC and “violated their commitments”.
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Rao also said the statements made by India weren't as impactful as the Chinese response, "Chinese statement minces no words. The gloves are off. It is in tradition of communications received from Chinese after border dispute erupted in 1959 & there were skirmishes in Western&Eastern Sectors. Both Indian Army &MEA statements of Tuesday sound much milder, almost anodyne."
Rao went on to say, "Chinese always present themselves as injured party & blame opposite side for the consequences. A dark hour like this with all the blood that has been shed is such a dreadful tragedy. Efforts made for normalization since 1976 have come to nought."
The official #PLA statement on the tragic #Galwan face-off is worth scrutiny: it refers to the Galwan Valley as being “on the China-Indian border” and that the Indian Army “crossed” the #LAC and “violated their commitments”. 1/n
— Nirupama Menon Rao, निरुपमा राउ, بینظیر (@NMenonRao) June 16, 2020
Rao has been one of the foremost voices among experts on India-China relations from as early as former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's government, where she was part of the delegation that visited Beijing in December 1988. From 2006 until 2009, Rao was also India's ambassador to China.
On June 16, the Indian Army said that 20 of its personnel had been killed as a result of a “violent face-off” with Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. The Chinese side also reportedly suffered from casualties. However, the exact number is unclear as China hasn't come out with a number.
As per a report by ANI, as many as 43 Chinese soldiers had died in the incident. A US intelligence report has said that the incident involved about 35 Chinese casualties.Read our complete coverage on the India-China border tensions.