Representational image of China's People's Liberation Army | Photo: Justin Chin | Bloomberg
Representational image of China's People's Liberation Army | Photo: Justin Chin | Bloomberg
Text Size:

New Delhi: The Chinese move to position itself between Finger 4 and Finger 8 of the Pangong Lake, a total of 8 km inside India’s Line of Actual Control (LAC), is bullying tactics to stop India’s road construction activity, sources in the defence and security establishment said.

While a road from Finger 2 to Finger 4 is something that has been in the works for long, a fresh attempt was being made by India, sources told ThePrint.

“To travel from Finger 3 to Finger 4, the Indians have to do so by foot through a narrow track. An attempt was being made to build a proper track to Finger 4 which was being objected to by the Chinese,” a source said.


Also read: Chinese game plan in Galwan — push Indian patrols 4 km behind LAC


Military standpoints at Pangong lake fingers

The Chinese had managed to build a motorable track from its Sirijap Post, captured in the 1962 War which is beyond Finger 8, till Finger 5 when the Indian presence had thinned down in 1999 as troops were moved to fight the Kargil battle, which needed acclimated soldiers.

The Chinese track was further extended to Finger 4. This allowed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to patrol only till this point by vehicles, though China lays claim to the area till Finger 2, sources said.

So instead, they used boats to go beyond Finger 4 to claim their territory, just like the Indians did till Finger 8 to establish claim over the territory.

Asked about the strategic implications of Chinese sitting at Finger 4, a source said the Indian assessment is that “the Chinese move is tactical and land grabbing. There is no strategic heft for the Chinese by sitting at Finger 4. This is nothing but bullying”.

Sources said the Chinese are attempting to change the status quo of the LAC.

“As per the established practice, Chinese used to patrol till Finger 4 and Indians patrolled till Finger 8. However, over the last few years, the Chinese had started to stop Indians midway near Finger 5. They could observe the Indian movement from their Sirijap Post and they used to come down to stop them,” the source said.


Also read: Stand-off with China in Ladakh is India’s worst border tension since Kargil in 1999


India’s response

Indian troops had also started opposing Chinese patrol ahead of Finger 4.

ThePrint had earlier reported that Indian troops had used an alternate route to reach Finger 8 just before the winter set in, taking the Chinese by surprise.

A recent undated video had come out, which showed Indians stopping the patrol team of China. Sources who have served in the Pangong area said the topography and presence of Chinese vehicles suggested it is between Finger 4 and Finger 5.

The sources also said physical clashes had become quite regular in the Pangong area between the two sides in the recent past.

A clash is supposed to have taken place in early May as Indians stopped the Chinese from patrolling. This clash could have preceded the 5 May clash in which scores of Indian soldiers were injured along with the Chinese, sources suggested.

Following the clash, the Chinese came in with large numbers and have positioned themselves in areas till Finger 4. Over time, since the 5 May clash, the Chinese have built a number of structures between Finger 4 and 5 to base its soldiers and equipment.

The situation in Pangong continues to be a major challenge as the Chinese have not shown any inclination to de-escalate or disengage here, sources said.

“Chinese argument is that they built the road in 1999 and hence it is their area. This is against the established norms at the local level where the LAC is Finger 8,” a source said.


Also read: Ladakh incursions a blatant attempt by China to change status quo, says LAC veteran


 

ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

3 Comments Share Your Views

3 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Binay,
    We are not brothers to share within us and keep quite. As the whole world knows China’s others land grabbing and treating them as second grade citizens or as slaves.
    If India agree as per your idea, tomorrow they definitely claim Arunachal Pradesh, J n K and POK.
    This is the right time to take back our own land either by way od diplomacy or otherwise.

  2. MaoZedong had admitted that he captured 43000 sq.km.of indian territory to give a diminutive blow toJawahar Lal Nehru’s towering figure by defying Panchsil Principle.They are treacherous in there action .We have followed all agreements but they did not. Recent clash near Galan valley clearly indicate that what ever had been agreed in Sr. Level was not followed in actual practice which led to killing of 20 Indian soldiers and injuring 72 soldiers.Indian army gave a befitting reply killing of China’s 53 soldiers and injuring more than 100 soldiers from their side.Both sides are well prepared and in case of any eventuality both side will suffer heavily. The assumptions that China can win the war is next to impossible whether it is EVM measure or drone attack.India has ability to destroy all kind of satellites including recently launched ones having atomic coding.The hypothetical way of claiming to concur New Delhi in 10 hour is a day dreaming.India wanted peace and never objected any road within their territory but when India made roads they perceive it as a threat.How?A great army of a budget of 5 times that if India and rapid modernized army with hypersonic missiles perceived threat?No,it is there ego to crush India,because India supported Covid-19 case with the entire world rather than coexist by Lord Buddha’s principle.
    ni

  3. These localized border skirmishes should be seen from a broader perspective, not a stand alone bullying event. The onus is political leadership of both countries. There is ample evidence that neither India nor China wants war. So the next logical step is to sit together, do some give and take and decide the border issue once and for all. Both claim Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, and Aksai Chin is under China’s control whereas Arunachal Pradesh is under India’s control. Let India keep Arunachal Pradesh and let China keep Aksai Chin. Unless and until such an arrangement is made, the country with more will find excuses to bully the other. Can the other country go to UN or a third party? Both India and China are big and proud enough for that. Why are the political leaderships of India and China are failing on this part?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here