29 May 2020   2 comments

India and China are once again facing off over disputed territory in the Himalayas. The territory is in the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh Region and the two states have been unable to resolve the issue. Aadil Brar has written a good background on the dispute, which goes back to 1959. The Economist reports on the latest confrontation:

“When Indian and Chinese soldiers brawled at Pangong lake high in the Himalayas earlier this month—a punch-up serious enough to leave many in hospital—General M.M. Naravane, India’s army chief, was unworried. Such “temporary and short-duration face-offs” happened from time to time in remote stretches of the 4,000km (2,500 miles) border between the two countries, he said. Both sides had “disengaged”. But a week later he dashed north to the headquarters of the 14th Corps in nearby Leh, the regional capital, suggesting that something more serious was afoot.

“According to Indian press accounts, Chinese troops have crossed the undefined border with India at several points, some reportedly penetrating 3-4km over punishing terrain. They are said to have destroyed Indian posts and bridges, and dug in with tents and trenches. Incursions have been reported at the confluence of the Galwan and Shyok rivers, the Hot Springs area and Pangong lake, the site of the original scrap (see map).”

I seriously doubt that either country wishes to go to war. They both had larger problems than a border dispute in uninhabitable lands. But both countries have decided to go full-throttle nationalist to address their problems, and they now find themselves in self-knitted straitjackets. As long as their soldiers do not do anything more than throwing racks at each other, then this might be just another flash. But a miscalculation could make this a very dangerous situation.

We need to be reminded about the direction we wish to go. I often view the video below when I feel discouraged about how racism can be so easily re-ignited in the US. It is always with us, but there have been times in my life when I have felt hopeful. Today is not such a day.

Posted May 29, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “29 May 2020

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  1. It doesn’t help when you have one mayor of Mississippi (that bastion of enlightenment) saying stuff like, “If you can say ‘I can’t breathe,’ you’re breathing,” or that paragon of virtue in the White House insisting that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” We already know people’s lives (and especially black and brown lives) are not worth a damn compared to the almighty dollar. The president and most of the GOP consistently drive home that message. What do you have to lose? The answer is: Everything, including your life.


    • We’ve always known what the priorities of the country have been for a very long time. But we are now getting hard and visible evidence of how those priorities harm minorities. Up to now, those harms have very conveniently eluded the view of the dominant elites. No longer.


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