India Says It Stopped China’s Attempt to Repeat 1962 Border War

India’s home-affairs minister said China tried to bring about a repeat of the 1962 war between the countries during a 2020 border conflict, but New Delhi successfully stood up to Beijing’s aggression.

In a rare move, Amit Shah made the comments in Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament, while taking stock of New Delhi’s performance during the Covid pandemic and discussing other related issues. China and India fought a bloody war in 1962 over the disputed 2,100-mile Line of Actual Control (LAC), which has since shaped the bilateral relationship between two countries with vast populations and hugely important economies.

Since 2020, the two sides have been locked in an intense border stand-off in the Eastern Ladakh region, with thousands of soldiers from both countries still stationed in the frigid Himalayan area. The soldiers exchanged blows on June 15, 2020, when 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers died.

“During this period, when the COVID pandemic was raging, China showed its real face, like in 1962. We stood firmly to it and didn’t lose an inch of land,” Shah said in parliament on Saturday.

An Indian army convoy drives towards Leh, on a highway bordering China, on June 19, 2020, in Gagangir, India. India’s home-affairs minister said China tried to repeat the 1962 border war in rare comments to…

Yawar Nazir/Getty Images News/iStock

The U.S. increasingly considers New Delhi a bulwark against Beijing’s aggressive stance against neighbors in the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. State Department recently approved the sale of 31 MQ-9 Reaper drones to India, which are likely to be deployed along the border with China to improve surveillance of the contested boundary, Reuters reported on February 1.

Newsweek contacted the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi for comment.

India is seeking a restoration of the status that existed before April 2020, when the People’s Liberation Army soldiers were deployed in forward positions along the LAC.

Meanwhile, Beijing has downplayed the ongoing tensions between the countries by calling on New Delhi to look at the broader bilateral relationship while putting the current phase of border tensions aside.

“It is unwise and inappropriate for the Indian side to link the boundary issue with overall relations. This approach is against the two countries’ shared interests,” Col. Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s defense ministry, recently told reporters in Beijing.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in June 2020 that China hadn’t taken any territory as the controversy over its incursion into territory held by New Delhi continues.

“Neither have they intruded into our border, nor has any post been taken over by them (China). Twenty of our jawans (soldiers) were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata, they were taught a lesson,” Modi said, according to the Hindustan Times on June 19, 2020.