In the Demchuk region of Ladakh, Chinese soldiers and civilians appeared across the Sindu river and displayed banners and a Chinese flag in protest when Indian villagers celebrated the birthday of the Dalai Lama. The incident took place on July 6.
The Chinese, comprising both Army personnel and civilians, arrived in five vehicles and raised banners near the village community center where the Dalai Lama was celebrating his birthday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the Dalai Lama last week on the occasion of his 86th birthday. Since he assumed power as premier in 2014, this is the first time Narendra Modi has publicly acknowledged speaking with the Dalai Lama.
Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 6, 2021
A tweet by PM Modi on Tuesday said, ‘Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life’. Penpa Tsering, the president of the Tibetan government in exile, said the Dalai Lama is expected to meet with Narendra Modi after the Covid-19 situation stabilizes. The PM’s tweet shows a significant shift in India’s Tibet policy vis-à-vis China and sends a strong message to Beijing. On the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, the Indian government had not wished China.
The two sides have been in a military standoff since April-May last year and are still working on de-escalating tensions at friction points, including the Hot Springs-Gogra heights. The Indian and Chinese sides have held multiple rounds of talks at military and diplomatic levels, but very little has come of them except for the limited withdrawal of soldiers by both sides along the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Tso.