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Modi govt 8 years: When PM showed his soft, tough side to China with 'Jhoole Pe Charcha' and Galwan response

In 2020, the Modi government showed China that no one can take India's borders and jawans lightly during the Galwan faceoff and at the same time New Delhi has emphasised that the neighbouring country has been a 'important partner'

Vani Mehrotra Written by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Updated on: May 25, 2022 14:40 IST
8 years of Modi govt
Image Source : PTI

Modi govt 8 years: PM's memorable 'Jhoole Pe Charcha' with Jinping, and the befitting response to China in Galwan

Modi govt 8 years: Relations between India and China worsened in 2020, especially since the Galwan conflict that happened along the Sino-Indian border. The Modi government showed that no one can take India's borders and jawans lightly. However, back in 2014 India and China were seen warming up to each other after President Xi Jinping visited India. 

Face-offs, skirmishes, and an aggressive melee between the Indian and Chinese troops were what described the clashes along the Sino-Indian border. And the disputes were not just limited to the border, it was all along the Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Additional clashes also took place at locations in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

In late May, Chinese forces objected to Indian road construction in the Galwan river valley. According to Indian sources, melee fighting in June had resulted in the deaths of Chinese and Indian soldiers. 

Amid the standoff, India reinforced the region with approximately 12,000 additional workers, who would assist India's Border Roads Organisation in completing the development of Indian infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border. Experts have postulated that the standoffs are Chinese pre-emptive measures in responding to the Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road infrastructure project in Ladakh.

Back in 2014, an event, wherein the first time an Indian prime minister received a foreign head of the state outside Delhi, was marked. And it was none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was received by PM Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, instead of Delhi.

Xi was seen sporting a white sleeveless Nehru jacket, gifted to him by Modi, which Modi has already adopted as his fashion mantra.

In his trademark short-sleeved kurta, Modi and Xi strolled along the Sabarmati river, walking through a park punctuated by colourful Gujarati dance and music pageants.

The Chinese present and PM Modi were clicked together having an informal discussion at a ‘jhoola'. The meet later gained popularity as 'jhoole pe charcha.'

India Tv - 8 years of Modi govt

Image Source : PTI

PM Modi's 'Jhoole Pe Charcha' with Xi Jinping

How India responded to Galwan valley clash

On June 15, 2020, nearly six hours of clashes between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan valley made it to the headlines. Though the border agreements disallowed the usage of firearms, the Chinese side was reported to possess iron rods, clubs and batons wrapped in barbed wire and clubs embedded with nails.

Hand-to-hand combat broke out and the Indian soldiers called for reinforcements from a post about 3.2 kilometres (2 mi) away. Eventually, up to 600 men were engaged in combat using stones, batons, iron rods, and other makeshift weapons. The Indian Defence Ministry said China used "unorthodox weapons" in the clashes. 

The fighting resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, including 16th Bihar Regiment commanding officer Colonel Santosh Babu and Junior Commissioned Officer Nuduram Soren VrC.

Galwan valley clash - China's story and PM Modi's intervention

According to Indian media sources, the clashes resulted in 43 Chinese casualties. Reports also said the Chinese side accepted a de-escalation meeting following the incident. The Chinese defence ministry confirmed Chinese casualties but refused to share the number. A Chinese spokesperson, meanwhile, had termed the reports as 'misinformation'. Later next year in February 2021, the Central Military Commission of China stated that four of its soldiers were posthumously awarded for their actions during the June 2020 clash with India at Galwan.

India Tv - Galwan Valley clash

Image Source : AP

The Chinese state media released footage of the Galwan Valley clashes between the Indian Army and PLA in June 2020

India Tv - Galwan Valley clash

Image Source : AP

The Chinese state media released footage of the Galwan Valley clashes between the Indian Army and PLA in June 2020

On 16 June, Chinese Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson for the PLA's Western Command, said that the Indian military violated bilateral consensus causing "fierce physical confrontations and casualties", a claim which was clearly rejected by India's Minister of External Affairs. 

China had "unilaterally tried to change the status quo" and that the violence was "premeditated and planned, India said. 

On June 20, India removed restrictions on the usage of firearms for Indian soldiers along the LAC. Satellite images analysed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute show that China increased construction in the Galwan valley since the 15 June skirmish. The Chinese post that was destroyed by Indian troops on 15 June was reconstructed by 22 June, with an expansion in size and with more military movement. Other new defensive positions by both Indian and Chinese forces have also been built in the valley. 

Tales of India's valour amid clash with China

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said if details of the Indian force’s bravery during the India-China standoff were made public, every Indian will feel proud of their courage. Singh's statement came while he was speaking at a meeting of the BJP workers in Pune. He further said India’s stature has grown internationally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “charismatic leadership”.

“I won’t speak much on Indo-China (issue). The way our soldiers displayed bravery and courage… I will say that if full information is disclosed, every Indian’s heart will be filled with pride. Every Indian head will go up,” Rajnath Singh said.

Singh said that under PM Modi’s leadership “India has entered the group of countries with fastest-growing economies, something that Congress governments of the past could not achieve in decades of rule”.

Also Read | Galwan valley clash: China's loss of soldiers 9-times more than official count, research reveals

Also Read | Galwan hero Col Santosh Babu accorded Mahavir Chakra posthumously



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