A front of approximately 70 km along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the new hotspot amid rising tensions between India and China. The front starts from Thakung on the southern bank of Pangong Tso, 135-km glacial lake, and ends south of Renchin La.
As of now, a section of the troops of both sides is within rifle-shot range of each other. The back-end includes at least 9,000 to 10,000 troops on either side besides tanks, artillery guns, rocket launchers and surveillance drones.
Indian troops have occupied several dominating mountain tops along the 70-km stretch and surprised the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.
Most of these mountain peaks along the stretch were unoccupied by either side since the India-China war in October-November 1962. As these locations at an altitude of over 15,000 feet are treeless, troops there can be spotted by drones and other surveillance equipment.
The third Brigadier-level talks at Chushul along the LAC in as many days remained inconclusive on Wednesday. Talks will continue on Thursday, sources said. The Brigadier-level officers have been meeting since August 31, when military movement by both countries led to a tense situation.
Since then, top military officials and diplomats have conducted several meetings, albeit unsuccessfully. Both sides have dug in their heels and are adamant about not budging. India has been pressing for restoration of the April status quo ante. As of now, the PLA has asked the Indian Army to withdraw from the mountain tops. Both India and China lay claim to these peaks. The alignment of the LAC has not been demarcated on ground and both sides have overlapping claims across the 826-km stretch in Ladakh.
Since China started its aggression in May, all peace-related agreements signed between the two sides since 1993 have been violated. Chinese attempts to unilaterally alter the LAC have been thwarted by India.
Both toughen stance
Both sides have dug in heels. India is pressing for April status quo ante. PLA wants India to vacate peaks it has occupied. Both lay claim to these tops.
Section of troops within close range
A section of the troops of both sides is within rifle-shot range of each other. The back-end includes at least 9,000 to 10,000 troops on either side besides tanks, artillery guns, rocket launchers and surveillance drones. Most peaks on 70-km stretch were unoccupied by either side since 1962 war.
Courtesy – tribuneindia