The ancient Galwan river encompassing the Aksai Chin area to Ladakh has become a major flashpoint in India-China standoff after the Doklam crisis which was diffused in 2017.
Galwan valley was one of the major areas where Chinese and Indian troops clashed in the 1962 war. According to reports, soldiers from both sides have been camping out in the Galwan valley in the high-altitude Ladakh region.
Talks & clashes...
On June 10, Indian and Chinese military commanders met at the Galwan Valley in another round of talks as Indian and Chinese troops continued to be in a confrontational position.
A few days later the Indian Army said Indian and Chinese troops were set to disengage.
Indian and Chinese Army delegations met on June 15 along the LAC at the Galwan Valley, however, on the same evening there were clashes between the two sides leading to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.
Officials have said that Chinese trucks have been moving equipment into the area as India prepares for a long, Doklam-like standoff which lasted for 73 days.
One of the major points of contention has been roads near the Galwan valley that connects Daulat Beg Oldi airbase, which was inaugurated last October by India. It acts as a major supply base inland and runs parallel to the Line of Actual Contol(LAC)
The road constructed by India is well inside its territory, China has retaliated by increasing its activities along the western Himalayan region.
Even though reports say both sides have bolstered troops but the number of personnel and type of equipment hasn't been revealed.
Sore point in relation
The Galwan valley named after a Ladaki Ghulam Rasool Galwan who first discovered the flowing river as part of the British expediton team in 1899 has become a sore point in India-China relations.
China had claimed the line to the west of the valley in 1960 even as India claimed the entire Aksai Chin, the result was a standoff in 1962, just months before an all out border war between India and China.
The valley was surrounded by Chinese troops ahead of the 62' conflict as India troops were supplied by air. When war broke out Chinese troops heavily bombarded the area leading to the death of several Indian troops as China lay claim to the 1960 line.
Since then, Galwan valley has been in the eye of the storm with both countries vying for honours along the strategic hotspot.
Prelude to war
Reports say the "first shots" were fired in the area way back in October 1959 as a prelude to the war three years later as both countries who had recently become independent countries seemed intent to stamp their place on the border which was a legacy left by the British.
There were reports of sporadic gun shots in the area as India began its logistical operation of building a base supplying it with helicopters and airdrop. The Chinese clearly on the defensive pushed forward its patrol leading to heightened tensions.
(Photograph:Zee News Network)
Tensions continue to boil
As both sides set up border patrols barely less than miles of the vital Indian post at Daulatberg Oldi at the base of Karakoram pass tensions between the two nations continued to boil ahead of the 1962 war.
Engage to disengage
With both countries now once again engaged in the Galwan valley, the foreign ministry of both countries are engaging with each other to de-escalate the issue, much like Doklam in 2017. However, tensions remain as the border issues run deep and the past echoes future conflicts.