External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar is likely to meet Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday, during the ongoing SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Russia, amid India-China tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Though, India-China stand-off at the border continues, Indian army and Chinese PLA on Wednesday indulged in brigadier level talks that lasted for 4 hours in Chusul. The talks started at around 11 am and ended at 3 pm.
According to sources, while there is tension at the border, India has said that it will retaliate if Chinese army attempts any misadventure targeting Indian forces at the LAC.
Meanwhile, in the past two weeks, the Indian Army has foiled repeated attempts by China to unitlaterally change the status quo at the LAC and currently dominates south of Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh. However, sources say that China has started fresh build up at Finger area north of the Lake. Though, India is in advantage position at Finger 4 and 5 hill top areas.
The fresh tension at the border started soon after the skirmish on the southern bank took place on September 7 where warning shots were fired by both sides. The deployment of People’s Liberation Army troops have increased since Tuesday evening. They are also bringing in more materials and logistics items.
India-China soldiers at short range from each other
The troops from both sides are at a short range from each other. “They are within clear visible range and Indian troops are keeping a close watch on the activities,” said a government source.
The Chinese continue to sit atop Finger 4 ridgeline. The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 fingers that are contested by both sides.
India claims that the Line of Actual Control at Finger 8 and had been holding on to area till Finger 4 but in a clear alteration of status quo the Chinese have been camping at Finger 4 and have set up fortifications between Finger 5 and 8.
The Indian Army have occupied crucial heights in areas around the south bank of Pangong Lake and the Chinese have made several attempts to take over Indian positions.
It has become the new friction point where Indian Army seems be in an advantageous position.
The Indian Army has occupied heights that allow it to dominate the Chinese Moldo garrison and the Spangur Gap under Chinese control. Both Indian and China lay claim to some of these heights.
One of the most critical heights the Indian Army is manning is the Rechin La, which the Chinese are protesting against.
From here the Indian Army enjoys a vantage point not just over Chinese army military bases on the south bank of the the Pangong Lake but can also be within range of the Finger 4 area on the north of the lake on the opposite side.
India-China Ladakh stand-off situation since May 2020
India and China have been engaged in a standoff since May at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.
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