Chinese soldiers have complete have a string of inter-connected abd mutually-reinforciable new fortifications and bunkers after taking over an almost 9-km stretch of ‘Indian territory’ along the Pangong Tso since early-May.
The consolidation of the intrusions is strategically meant to deny the Indian army any high ground or tactical staging post for possible offensive operations to recapture Aksai Chin , serving and retired officers told Easternlink.
Home Minister Amit Shah’s threat in parliament seems to have triggered China’s worst strategic nightmare of loosing Aksai Chin , through which the Xinjiang-Tibet highway passes , connecting two most regions of China.
But having provoked China and then having failed to muster enough courage and decisiveness to provide strategic guidance to the army to resist the Chinese aggression, the Modi government has severely compromised national security, a huge number of tweets and facebook posts by retired senior officers said.
PLA troops have taken control of the heights to dominate ‘Finger-4 to 8’ (mountainous spurs) area on the north bank of Pangong Tso, smartly using the bilateral military talks organised to defuse the troop confrontations at Patrolling Points 14, 15 and 17 in the Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hot Springs areas.
Top military sources on Sunday said he Indian Army is now “holding” the area near PP-14 in the Galwan Valley region, scene of the savage hand-to-hand combat that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and 76 injured on June 15.
Subsequent Indian counter-strikes led to more than 40 deaths, provoking Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to demand a probe into rwo Indian transgressions and ‘severe punishment ‘ for those involvrd.
The Army statement has claimed that “Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June .”
“All Indian Army maps show the LAC runs north to south at Finger-8. With an ITBP post between Finger-3 and Finger-4, our patrols have been going up to Finger-8 for years. But the PLA has been refusing to discuss its occupation from Finger-4 to 8 since early last month,” a senior officer told the Times of India.
In 1999, while India’s attention was diverted during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan, China had surreptitiously built a dirt track reaching up to Finger-4 area from its rear bases to the east at Sirijap-1 and 2, the officer told TOI wiyhout being named.
Subsequently, the PLA also black-topped it.
“PLA troops, often in vehicles from their post at Finger-8 and Sirijap, used to patrol in the area. But they had never physically occupied the area even though they claimed it till Finger-2,” said the officer.
“But now, they have built a series of defences from Finger-4 to 8, while also occupying the heights. It will be difficult to dislodge them from there,” he added. India obviously wants a return to status quo ante, with the PLA’s pulling-back from the “Finger 4” area and demolishing all its fortifications there, but that will take some doing.