New Delhi: The Indian Army is waiting for the diplomatic words spoken by China about “resolving differences” to translate into action on the ground, as it continues to keep a close eye on the troop build-up in the Galwan Valley, the Hot Springs area and the ‘Finger’ area of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.
As reported by ThePrint earlier, the Army has demanded that earlier status quo be maintained by China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Amid rising tensions, statements by Chinese diplomats Wednesday seemed to suggest there could be de-escalation. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the situation at the border with India was “overall stable and controllable”. He added that both countries have proper mechanisms and communication channels to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultation.
Later in the evening, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said the two countries should never let their differences shadow the overall bilateral ties, and must enhance mutual trust.
Sources had said even though India has beefed up military presence in Ladakh, its focus is on an “amicable solution” through talks.
‘It’ll only take 5-6 hours’
Sources said the Indian demands are very clear, and words should translate into action.
“The words spoken by the Chinese diplomats are very nice. But words alone do not matter from a military point of view, they have to translate into action on the ground,” a source said.
The sources maintained that China will have to withdraw troops from forward positions along the LAC, and from areas where they have transgressed.
“All it would take China is five or six hours for the tents to be packed up and moved back to their earlier positions,” said the source quoted above.
China has deployed additional troops in the Galwan Valley, on its side of the LAC. The troops 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 in the larger ‘Hot Springs’ area, near Patrol Point 14, 15 and the Gogra Post, which is several kilometres south-east of the Galwan Valley as the crow flies, and is between the Valley and Pangong Lake.
According to the sources, the Chinese have not crossed their claim line in these areas, but they are about 3 km within India’s perception of the LAC. The same is true for the ‘Finger’ of Pangong Lake, where also the Chinese have transgressed.
While the exact number of Chinese troops on Indian territory is unknown, it is estimated that every transgressed location has about 600-800 troops each.