Amid ongoing efforts to resolve the India-China dispute in Ladakh through talks, the Chinese have been building up their troop strength along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as they have brought in a large number of heavy vehicles with artillery guns and infantry combat vehicles which can be deployed near the Indian territory in a matter of few hours.
The development is taking place even as the Indian and Chinese side have been talking to each other at the battalion and brigade level at all the locations in the Eastern Ladakh area which have not yielded any results so far as the Chinese have not gone back from any of the positions they have come to and face-offs have been continuously taking place between soldiers of both sides at different locations.
“A large number of Class A vehicles can be seen in the rear positions of the Chinese Army which has built up considerably in the Eastern Ladakh area near the Line of Actual Control. These vehicles are stationed 25-30 kilometres from the Indian side of the LAC and can be brought forward in a matter of few hours by the adversary,” sources told ANI.
“It seems that the Chinese side is buying time through talks and using it to build up on its side of the LAC. On the other hand, talks at Commanding Officer and Brigade commander level are taking place on almost daily basis but have not shown any result. Now, Major General-rank officers of both sides would be meeting soon to discuss the ways to end tension in the area,” they said.
The Chinese have been demanding a freeze on infrastructure development by India on its side of the LAC.
A number of face-offs have been taking place between the troops of both sides as the Chinese have been trying to carry out deeper incursions.
These are in addition to the face-offs which took place during the initial period as there was a major face-off at the Finger area in May third week and a number of such incidents have been taking place all along the disputed sites in the Ladakh area, sources said.
Sources said in response to the Chinese build-up, India has “more than matched” it on its side of the LAC.
In the initial phase of the ongoing dispute, the Chinese were successful in surprising the Indian side by swiftly moving over 5000 of its troops all along the LAC and at some places in the Indian territory also.
India has moved in additional troops from a reserve division near the Union Territory of Ladakh and they are trained for high altitude warfare.
The usual deployment of troops which was somewhat affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the area has also been taking place in Ladakh now where a large number of troops have been rushed to forward locations both by aircraft and by road.
Sources said that no compromise will be made with regard to maintaining the sanctity of India’s borders and that while India believes in peace, it is firm and resolute when it comes to the defence of its territory.
This has been reflected in spirit even in the four or more agreements between India and China, which have historically formed the mechanism for border management.
The mechanisms are still in place and working at a bilateral level. Two of them are of 1993 and 1996 and there is a CBM (Confidence Building Measures) in place since 2005 and a border agreement since 2013.
These agreements form the framework under which border talks have been held between India and China and not resulted in a full-blown conflict. They have also figured in the summit level meetings held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping and previous Prime Ministers and Presidents of the two countries.