LIVE: India, China armies 'hold talks' in disputed Ladakh region

Indian media reports say top military officers are talking in Galwan Valley, the disputed area claimed by both nations.

  • Indian and Chinese army officers are reportedly holding talks to end the deadly standoff in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

  • India is holding funerals for some of the 20 soldiers killed in a brawl with Chinese troops on Monday, the deadliest in decades.

  • The border tension with China has become Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most serious foreign policy challenge since he took power in 2014.

Here are the latest updates:

09:01 GMT – Families of fallen Indian soldiers demand justice 

The Indian army has begun handing over the bodies of the soldiers killed by Chinese troops in the disputed Galwan Valleyin – the worst clash in over half a century between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Indian soldiers who survived the clash said the Chinese used bamboo sticks studded with nails during the confrontation in sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain, while the Indians used stones and sticks.

Under an agreement forged in the 1990s, the two armies carry but do not use arms near the border.

China said its troops were engaged in a “violent physical confrontation” with Indian soldiers, but has given no details on casualties.

Families of the fallen Indian soldiers and other citizens demanded Modi find diplomatic and strategic ways to punish China.

07:45 GMT – India ‘deliberately provoked’ Ladakh clash: China

China’s foreign ministry has accused India of “deliberately provoking and attacking” Chinese troops during Monday’s “violent face-off” in the disputed Ladakh region.

“Indian front-line troops broke the consensus and crossed the Line of Actual Control, deliberately provoking and attacking Chinese officers and soldiers, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties,” Hua Chunying, ministry spokesperson tweeted.

“India must not misjudge the current situation or underestimate China’s firm will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty,” she posted.

06:40 GMT – India, China army officers hold talks: Report

Top Indian and Chinese military officers are holding talks in the disputed Galwan Valley to find a resolution to their month-long standoff, India’s NDTV network has reported.

The first round of talks held on Wednesday following the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops on Monday had remained inconclusive.

Galwan Valley, which lies along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China in eastern Indian-administered Ladakh, is claimed by both nations.

06:29 GMT – India prepares to hold funerals for soldiers killed in border clash

Families across India are preparing to hold funerals for some of the 20 soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in the disputed mountainous border region.

Dozens of people lined the street in the southern town of Suryapet as the body of army Colonel B Santosh Babu was brought home, wrapped in the Indian flag.

Funerals will be held for other soldiers in their hometowns and villages, including several in the eastern state of Bihar.

06:01 GMT – India to share UNSC table with China

The UN General Assembly has elected India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland as the four non-permanent members of the Security Council for 2021 and 2022.

The result means India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations traded blame for a brawl along the disputed Himalayan border that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

India – which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council – ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.

05:47 GMT – BJP leaders call for boycott of Chinese goods

Hardline nationalist groups tied to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have stepped up calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and cancellation of contracts with Chinese firms.

“In the current situation, the China issue should not be taken lightly… In many cases, there may be Chinese money invested, but I think the regular things we buy from the market, one should certainly make sure that we avoid Chinese products,” Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Economic Times newspaper.

The minister also called for a boycott of Chinese food. “Restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned. I appeal to people to boycott Chinese food,” he told the local ANI news agency.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said the government will “honour the sentiments” of Indians who want economic measures to be taken “at another level”.

“We import chemicals, mobile phone parts and buttons. Are they so essential to be imported? They can be manufactured in India. We should reduce imports from other coutries but especifically from China. If people want to boycott Chinese products, we respect their sentiments,” he told ANI.

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