Amid tensions between India and China, the Indian Army has changed its rules of engagement on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and has allowed field commanders to order troops to use firearms under "extraordinary" circumstances, Army sources told ANI on Sunday.
This decision comes after the violent face-off on June 15 with China in the Galwan Valley of Eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers, including officers, lost their lives.
Meanwhile, reacting to Indian Army's changed rules of engagement, Global Times' Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin on Monday warned India of China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its military spending. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "Nationalists of India need to cool down. China’s GDP is 5 times that of India, military spending is 3 times. Don’t use firearms at border. The gap of “kung fu” between the two troops is much smaller than the gap of military capability between them. Please cherish peace."
He added that the Indian Army allowing the use of firearms is a serious violation of the agreement between the two countries. "Indian media reported that Indian army along the border with China had been given “complete freedom of action”, including using firearms in “extraordinary situations.” If true, this is a serious violation of agreement, & the Indian side will pay a heavy price for any such action," Hu Xijin tweeted.
Meanwhile, many Twitter users wondered whether China was getting scared. "Why is China getting scared?" a Twitter user wrote.
Another Twitter user said: "How were Chinese "cherishing" peace when they came armed with sticks with nails, clubs with barbed wire and rocks? That was violence with intent. Now, deal with an outraged 1.3 billion-strong nation. We'll cherish peace later."
Here are some of the Twitter reactions: