Ladakh: A day after a 11-hour border meeting between senior military commanders of India and China, Beijing has welcomed an agreement to “cool down the situation”.
Indian planners assess the Chinese have stepped up their forces by at least 30 per cent since June 15, along the Ladakh frontier, reported Business Standard.
It said it would continue holding talks “for peace and tranquillity” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Describing the meeting, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson said: “This meeting showed that the two sides wish to control and alleviate the situation through dialogue and consultation.”
Beijing flatly rejected the contention of Union Minister General V K Singh (retired) that more than 40 Chinese soldiers had been killed in the Ladakh face-off. “I can tell you for sure this is fake news,” said the MFA spokesperson.
Accompanying Beijing’s talk of “dialogue and consultation”, however, is a massive Chinese troop build-up along the border in Ladakh.
Since the June 15 clash, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted large numbers of troops, armoured vehicles, and artillery along the LAC – from Depsang and Galwan in northern Ladakh to Hot Springs, Pangong Tso, and Chushul in central Ladakh, to Demchok and Chumar in southern Ladakh, said a well-informed government source.
In northern Ladakh, the PLA has activated the Depsang Area, north of Galwan, where both sides had faced off earlier in 2013.
Indian patrols have traditionally patrolled here up to Patrolling Point (PP) 10, 11, 12, and 13. Now they are being stopped by the Chinese, who have built tracks bypassing these PPs and extending 15-17 kilometres (km) into Indian-claimed territory, BS reported.
This includes advancing deeper into Indian territory at Jeevan Nullah (PP13) and ongoing attempts to cross the so-called bottleneck area on Raki Nullah (PP12).
In the Galwan Valley, the Chinese have established a camp about 1 km inside the Indian side (west) of the LAC near PP14, where the June 15 clash occurred.