New Delhi: Amid continued tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, with both India and China ramping up military presence, the focus is on an “amicable solution” through talks, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources told ThePrint that a review of the security situation has been held at various levels, since tensions cropped up early this month.
While noting that the tensions have increased, sources said established channels have been activated to talk and de-escalate the situation.
“The focus is on an amicable solution,” a source said, adding that steps have been taken to counter the Chinese mobilisation at the LAC, which has escalated tensions in the Galwan Valley, Hot Springs area and the ‘Finger’ area of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh.
No escalation since mid-May
Sources told ThePrint that there has not been any escalation in the situation in eastern Ladakh since the middle of May, which they say is a good development.
Officials said while the military has taken position and done proactive preventive deployment in the west and central sectors of the LAC, and is prepared for a long stand-off, established channels for resolution of border issues are working round the clock.
While several rounds of military talks have taken place at the local level in Ladakh, no major breakthrough has been achieved.
Diplomatic channels have been activated to ensure that the situation calms down.
Why the Chinese are peeved
As reported by ThePrint earlier, the Chinese are peeved at a road construction work that India is carrying out from ‘Finger 2’ area of Pangong Lake, as well as a feeder road to the strategic Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road constructed last year.
While the Shyok-DBO road is well within its territory, India is constructing feeder roads to the LAC, which would enable faster movement of troops and equipment.
The Chinese themselves have built roads near the LAC, but keep objecting to India’s construction.
Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane had made it clear on 14 May that the development of infrastructure capabilities along the northern borders is on track.
ThePrint had reported that India has decided to “dig in” and conduct “mirror deployment” as China has brought in a large number of its Border Defence Regiment (BDR) troops to the Galwan Valley to force the Indian Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to stop infrastructure-development activities.
Sources maintained that additional troops deployed by China in the Galwan Valley are on their side of the LAC, but they are accompanied by heavy vehicles and logistics such as tents to house the soldiers.
However, Chinese soldiers are said to have “come in” by about 3 km into territory that India perceives as its own. This is near Patrol Point 14, 15 and the Gogra Post, which is several kilometres South East of Galwan Valley as the crow flies, and is between the Valley and Pangong lake. This is largely known as the Hot Springs area, according to the sources.
Sources told ThePrint that the Chinese have not crossed their claim line in these areas, but said these areas are about 3 km within India’s perception of the LAC.