Ladakh face off: China moves in 5,000 more troops along LAC

Experts say it should not alarm India as long as the Chinese stay in their current positions and don’t transgress further

Pangong Tsu, the epicentre of the standoff between India and Chinese forces, has extensively portrayed in Hindi films. Photo: iStock

Amid simmering tension between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), China is said to have deployed more reinforcements along its side of the dispute border in the Ladakh sector.

The standoff began with a scuffle between Indian and Chinese patrol parties near Pangong Tso earlier this month. The Chinese side is reportedly trying to move 2 to 4 km into India’s side of the LAC at Pangong Tso.

Quoting officials privy to the situation, Hindustan Times said China may have sent at least 5,000 soldiers to LAC.

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“The Chinese forces are not concentrated anywhere near the flashpoints, but scattered on their side,” HT quoted the officials as saying.

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Satellite images too show over 80 tents and heavy vehicles to have crossed China’s side of the LAC, as per a report in Economic Times. The report says the Chinese side has moved in more troops both across the LAC and on its side of the border, making a formation just like that in the Doklam crisis (in Sikkim) of 2017.

Meanwhile, a military-level meeting on Monday (May 25) to find a solution to the ongoing crisis bore no results. Chinese officials reportedly have refused to move back their troops from points in the Galwan area of sub-sector north and north of Pangong Tso.

Chinese soldiers are also reported to be constructing bunkers in the disputed areas.

Experts, however, told HT that moving of troops by China may not be alarming as long as they stay in their current positions and don’t transgress further.

“It could set the stage for talks to defuse the situation,” General DS Hooda, a former commander lieutenant of Northern Army was quoted as saying.

He said it was likely that the reinforcements were brought in the “depth areas” as there is no space for deployment of 5,000 troops.

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India too has been keeping its guard on. Reports say India is using UAVs to locate the exact positions where the Chinese can attempt a strike. The Indian side has also reinforced troops in the past few days, and plans to move formations from other places to strengthen the same in sub sector north near Galwan Valley.

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