It appears that India has scored a major victory as China has finally relented amidst mounting pressure as it has agreed to pull back its troops in the Galwan Valley. This is nothing but a victory for Indian diplomacy after several rounds of talks as India decided to hit China hard economically by banning 59 Chinese apps. However, it was National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who put the final nail in the coffin as after two hours of painstaking negotiations with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, China has agreed to pull back its troops.
Just a few of days ago, China staked claim on the entire Galwan Valley but have now been forced to behave as India’s diplomacy appears to have prevailed. Doval and Wang have known each other since long, as the duo wasted no time in discuss the burning issues.
MEA sources speaking to Times of India said that the meeting witnessed sharp exchanges before mutually settling for an understanding which called for the PLA troops to pull back and remove the structures it had built at the site of the deadly stand-off which took place on June 15.
Doval made it clear that China’s claims on the Galwan Valley are untenable and a de-escalation would not take place until the PLA pulled back its troops from the area which the Chinese government gleefully claimed it as their territory just a few days ago.
It is important to note that unfazed by Chinese threats, the Modi government has managed to complete the bridge over the Galwan river. It seems that Doval had an upper hand at the negotiating table after the Central government’s move to ban 59 Chinese apps and prevent Huawei’s participation from 5G trials and of course, the Prime Minister’s visit to Ladakh further increased the international pressure on China.
Ajit Doval who is India’s Special Representative on Sino-Indian border issues insisted on “timely and visible action” during the meeting as the two countries also agreed that the talks between respective army commanders must continue to work out the modalities for ensuring peace along the LAC.
In a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Doval and Yi agreed that the countries “should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously”. The statement further read that India and China, “should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation”.
It added that both the sides “re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control” and “should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo” and “work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas”.
The statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry was more or less on the same lines as it called for “complete disengagement of the front-line troops as soon as possible”.
However, China did take a hard stance on Galwan Valley as the statement said, “The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley in the western sector of the China-India boundary is very clear. China will continue firmly safeguarding our territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
It is important to note that nowhere in its statement did China reiterate its claims on the Galwan Valley which is a major victory for India.
China by no means can be trusted and its in their characteristics to backstab and the Indian government is well aware of this as the Indian troops continue to be in a battle ready mode. However, there are not many instances where China is forced to do a U-turn especially over its territorial claims. For China to pull back its troops from the valley and also give up its claim of sovereignty is a huge indication of how Ajit Doval has landed a knock out punch on China with Xi Jinping still in hiding.