China continues to be belligerent along the LAC; Situation could escalate, say experts

By: |
May 24, 2020 2:29 PM

Several satellite images shared by an Australia based security expert on the social media, claiming that the images are of the Chinese incursion in Galwan.

india china tension, ladkah,line of actual control, Xi Jinping,Indian Army, indian troops, chinese military, defence news,latest news on india china disputeStandoff in Ladakh does seem to be serious and likely to be prolonged. (IE photo)

Troops of India and China have once again `dug in’ their boots at different locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), on the Eastern Ladakh side.

This time Chinese have built military-style bunkers, they moved huge assets including the road construction machines, military trucks etc, tents have come up, there are trucks with armed troops and almost within the territory of India and at the point where both Galwan and Shyok rivers flow and this location is defined as the sub-sector north (SSN).

Several satellite images shared by an Australia based security expert on the social media, claiming that the images are of the Chinese incursion in Galwan.

EXPERTS’ VIEWS

Standoff in Ladakh does seem to be serious and likely to be prolonged. India is unlikely to back off and would be willing to escalate. China would learn its lessons soon and would look for a diplomatic face-saver.

“Chinese belligerence along LAC with India is part of larger package which President Xi Jinping is unleashing across the board, using its economic, trade & other covert leverages against all countries who could be potential alliance partners against China,” opines Maj Gen Ajay Das, (retd), Geopolitics, Strategy, Security Expert.

According to the former general “This is also combined with aggressive politico-military manoeuvres in its own hot spots of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and South China Sea littorals. Clearly aimed at:-

A. Sending out a convincing message to party cadres and domestic audience of Xi Jinping’s strong & invincible leadership and kill internal dissension.

B. Pressurizing or coercing other middle powers including India to back off. Hoping coercion will succeed at a time countries are too deeply involved in fighting pandemic and shoring up devastated economies.”

According to Prof Rajesh Rajagopalan, School of International Studies, JNU,” It’s unclear what China is up to. They appear to have crossed the LAC and set up camps and facilities on what appears to be clearly on the Indian side of the LAC. The ostensible reason that India is building up the infrastructure makes no sense considering that Indian infrastructure is being built on the Indian side of the LAC. China cannot dictate what India can do on the Indian side.”

“Moreover, this is in response to China’s own infrastructure building on its side of the LAC. But this also demonstrates that India’s diplomatic efforts to resolve differences with China, at the highest level, has simply not worked. Moreover, even CBMs that the two sides have put in place does not appear to be working. This is also not the consequence of any misunderstanding or unintended escalation due to troops meeting accidentally while on patrol. This appears to be a deliberate effort by China, which means that India needs to take this extremely seriously” Prof Rajagopalan states.

What has caused the flare-up?

The two countries in fact had never disputed the alignment of the LAC at Galwan. There are two spots which have caused tension and face-offs between the troops of both countries

1.The 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Baig Oldie (DSDBO) road which was constructed last year by India is apparently the cause behind the flare-up. However, the road is very much inside the Indian territory and has given all-weather access to the DBO, Depsang plains and the Karakoram pass.

On the opposite side of the road going eastwards is the Aksai Chin plateau. This is the spot which China is occupying illegally.

2. The north bank of Pangong Tso, which is a 135-km glacial melt lake and is at an altitude of more than 14,000 feet. China has raised objections to a road constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) between one of the eight mountain spurs that end at the lake. In the military parlance, each of these are identified as `finger’ and the ridgelines are separated. The first skirmish took place on the night of May 5-6.

As far as India is concerned the LAC is assumed to be at `Finger 4’ and what China is trying to do is to push Indian troops back to Finger 2 which is more than 10 km away.

Indian Army Clarifies

Late Sunday afternoon, the Indian Army came out with a clarification on reports suggesting that Indian troops have been detained at the borders.

The army statement reads: “We categorically deny that the Indian soldiers have been detained at the borders.”

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