China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV-4 aired new satellite images on Monday (July 6) night, further supporting India’s claim that the Chinese forces tried preventing Indian Army from carrying out activities on the Indian side of the border in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, where a confrontation had occurred in mid-June, reported NDTV on Tuesday.
The Galwan Valley witnessed a brutal confrontation between the Indian and Chinese forces on June 15, during which the Chinese soldiers attacked Indian jawans with clubs and sticks. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. Beijing began withdrawing its troops from three spots in Ladakh from Monday following several de-escalation talks.
The Chinese broadcaster said that the satellite images it aired showed an Indian helipad and camps on the Galwan River at Patrol Point 14. However, the NDTV report quoted an unnamed senior Indian Army officer as saying that the authenticity of the such satellite images (aired by CCTV-4) have to be verified.
It said that the images aired on CCTV-4 are not dated, and show presence of Indian troops at Patrol Point 14, besides a newly constructed helipad on Indian side. However, it pointed out that this activity was not seen in the May 22 satellite images that it had then reported, thus seeking to establish that Indian troops were pushed back by the Chinese.
A day earlier, Beijing said its front-line troops are taking “effective measures” and making “progress” to disengage and ease tensions in Galwan Valley. The remarks of the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian came after government sources in New Delhi said the Chinese Army was seen removing tents from certain areas of the Valley.
The country also said that its Foreign Minister Wang Yi and India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval reached “positive common understandings” over easing the border situation, and underlined the need to act promptly on the consensus reached by the military commanders to complete the disengagement at the LAC as soon as possible.
(With inputs from agencies)