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Tibet has historically served as a buffer between the two nations but has grown increasingly under Chinese influence. Deputy speaker of Tibet’s India-based exile parliament said India must be “bolder” in its stance on the region.
Yeshi Phuntsok told RFA’s Tibetan Service last week: “Until the Tibet issue is resolved, the present simmering Himalayan border conflict between the Chinese and Indian troops will remain.
“Therefore, finding a peaceful solution to the problem of Tibet is key to India’s security.
“We are asking the Indian government to help resolve these issues by supporting resumed dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the Chinese leadership on the basis of the Middle Way Approach.”
The Middle Way refers to the proposal of the Dalai Lama to recognise Beijing’s rule over Tibet in exchange for a greater autonomy in Tibetan areas.
On June 18, five Tibetan NGOs including the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) and Students for a Free Tibet, urged India to condemn China’s aggression on the border.
They also called for India to support Tibet’s return to its former independence.
The TYC president Gonpo Dhundup told the Hindustan Times: “It is high time for India to recognise Tibet as an independent country and an occupied nation.”
Students for a Free Tibet echoed the TYC comments and said an independent Tibet is the only way to resolve the ongoing Indo-China conflict.
Tensions between the two countries have ignited over the last few weeks following the deadly battle in Galwan Valley, in Ladakh.
Both countries deployed troops to the disputed border in recent weeks and the latest clash, which saw fatalities on both sides, marks the first bloody altercation between the two countries in 45 years.
Each side agreed to disarm as they confronted each other in the highly dispute mountainous region in order to determine how they would both withdraw their military from the area.
A physical confrontation between troops erupted as the meeting grew tense and fights broke out.
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According to news reports, all of the casualties were from the use of batons, knives and falls on the steep land.
Around 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 35 Chinese soldiers died including a senior officer.
This clash came after India’s external affairs ministry accused China of breaching agreements respecting the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley.
At the end of May, local reports claimed China’s border forces had been armed with new tanks, drones and helicopters.
It was also reported the Chinese military had held high-altitude infiltration exercises in the Tanggula Mountains in Tibet, a highly contested boundary.
Around 5,000 Chinese troops were at the 2,100-mile border, according to Indian media.
Physical blows were also exchanged between Indians and Chinese soldiers on the North Eastern border of Sikkim in May.
Over the last three decades, several rounds of talks have been held attempting to resolve the dispute, with no success.
The tensions have stretched back further in time, with 2017 seeing the two counties clash over China attempting to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.
Only once has outright war been fought between the two: 1962 saw India suffer a devastating defeat to China.
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