India-China Border Tension: Another marathon long talk comes to an end; China Study Group to discuss the outcomes later today

By: |
August 3, 2020 2:59 PM

High altitude winter clothing, as well as weapons, are being procured for over 30,000 extra troops who are deployed in forward locations.

The China Study Group was formed in 1976 on the recommendation of the Cabinet Committee on Security.The China Study Group was formed in 1976 on the recommendation of the Cabinet Committee on Security. (Representative image: IE)

The fifth round of Corps commander-level talks between China and India on Sunday lasted for about ten hours. The focus during this meeting was on the withdrawal of troops in Pangong So area, even as significant increase in the deployment of troops in critical areas within Chinese territory is visible. On late Monday evening, there will be an important meeting of the China Study Group. And in this meeting the Corps commander-level talks will be discussed, and at the end of talks and discussion, a statement either from the Indian Army or the Ministry of External Affairs is expected.

More about the China Study Group

China Study Group is a government group on subjects related to China, which includes cabinet secretaries, heads of intelligence agencies and top bureaucrats of ministries related to the security of the country. This group decides on policy matters related to China. The China Study Group was formed in 1976 on the recommendation of the Cabinet Committee on Security. Initially, it was headed by the Foreign Secretary, now the National Security Advisor presides over it.

It is worth noting that China has not adhered to the things laid down in the previous Corps Commander level talks. Not only this, it has been claimed in some reports that the PLA has also deployed one of its divisions near Lipulek.

Update on disengagement

Unlike what was agreed upon at the top military Commanders, there has just been a partial pullback by the Chinese side. According to sources, “a fresh physical verification of the buffer zone has to be made, as the Chinese have moved partially.” It was decided by both sides that they will back 1.5 km on each side of the approximate Line of Actual Control (LAC) which has not happened.

Reports indicate that there are two points where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not created a buffer and this includes PP 17-A (Gogra), the gap between the two armies is not total and it is narrower than the ideal 1.5 km on each side.

Also, at Finger 4 on the north bank of the 135 –km glacial lake Pangong Tso, not much has changed and the PLA troops are sitting on the ridgeline of a mountain spur.

More about ‘spur’ which is identified as ‘Finger’

There are eight spurs of the Chang Chenmo range which end on the north bank of the lake. In military parlance, each of these has been identified as a ‘finger’. As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, For India the LAC is at Finger 8, east of Finger 4.

Earlier, India was patrolling till Finger 8, however, Chinese troops sitting there are not allowing the patrols to pass. Though on July 10, the PLA moved away its boats and some troops, according to sources there are troops who are occupying the ridgeline.

India wants the Chinese to move back to till Finger 8. The status quo ante — the military deployment positions in April that India has been insisting on seems far away.

Despite the official, diplomatic as well as military-level talks, the Chinese buildup continues. Indian Satellite images, as well as those from the friendly nations, indicate the large presence of troops in the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as the build-up spreading over larger areas.

What does this mean?

This means that the Chinese are settling down and preparing for staying for long winter. They have been building up their logistic and back up for possible deployment if needed.

Chinese presence continues near the Pangong Tso and Depsang Plains areas. And in Pangong Tso, the Chinese troops have come almost 8 km into the Indian side of the LAC.

And, in Depsang Plains, they are blocking the Indian patrols to the PP (Patrol Point) 10, 11, 12 and 13.

What steps has India taken?

As has been reported earlier by the Financial Express Online, Indian Army, Air Force and the Navy are all deployed and in a state of readiness to deal with any adventurism of the Chinese.

High altitude winter clothing, as well as weapons, are being procured for over 30,000 extra troops who are deployed in forward locations.

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