Context:

  • It’s been a year since the armed forces of China and India clashed in Galwan.

Background:

  • India and China share a 3,440-kilometer-long (2,100-mile-long) border with overlapping territory claims.
  • At three sites along the Line of Actual Control in 2020, Indian and Chinese soldiers were embroiled in a tense standoff – the Galwan River Valley, the Hot Springs area, and the Pangong Lake.
  • Even while India and China held military-level negotiations and engaged in controlled engagement, a major clash involving army personnel from both sides occurred in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh.

The strategic significance of the Galwan River Valley (GRV) is as follows:

  • The Galwan River is the highest ridgeline, allowing the Chinese to control the Shyok route, which runs along to the river.
  • It is located near Aksai Chin, a disputed area claimed by India but controlled by China, on the western side of the LAC.

Why have tensions in this area suddenly risen:

  • India is attempting to build a feeder road between Darbuk-Shyok Village with Daulat Beg Odi (DS-DBO road).
  • This road follows the Shyok River and is the most important communication link between LAC and the rest of the world.
  • As a result, the Chinese were desperate to retain this territory, fearing that the Indian side may use the river valley to threaten their position on the Aksai Chin plateau.

  • Source The Hindu

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