Over 500 PLA troops attempted transgression in Ladakh, China denies charges

Hours after Indian Army released a statement detailing how Chinese soldiers tried to alter the status quo in complete violation of mutually agreed terms of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, top sources have indicated to NewsMobbile that over 500 Chinese troops attempted transgression on the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake.

Indian Army sources said that the Chinese Army had attempted to transgress into Indian areas near Pangong Tso with over 500 troops. But, Indian Army was able to thwart their attempts and occupied these positions before the PLA soldiers could. Sources said no physical clashes took place between the two sides.

In a briefing, China however refuted all charges and said Chinese border troops “never cross the Line of Actual Control”. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “Both sides are in communication regarding the situation on the ground.”

The Indian Army said in a statement on Monday that Chinese troops carried out military movements over the weekend to change the status quo on their disputed border.

The statement read: “Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground. The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity. A Brigade Commander level Flag Meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issues.”
Strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney took to Twitter to question the timing of the transgression.
“Why the timing of the latest PLA intrusion attempt (and the skirmishes it triggered) is so significant: It occurred just hours after Xi wrapped up a two-day national meeting on Tibet by setting new policy directions on Tibet’s stability and security and India-border defenses. Surely it couldn’t be a coincidence that PLA commits fresh aggression against India shortly after Xi addresses the Tibet meeting. Xi has raised the risks of a Himalayan war by massing forces along the entire long frontier with India and building an array of new SAM border sites,” he said.
This incidentally is a new area where the Chinese PLA troops attempted transgression. This action by the Chinese side comes after five rounds of talks between armies of both countries to resolve escalating tension along the LAC which began around April-May and peaked with the violent clash in Galwan valley on the intervening night of June14-15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. India also inflicted heavy injuries on the PLA and over 40 soldiers died in the clashes.

Subsequently, following talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, India and China began the disengagement process. But it remained incomplete as the Chinese soldiers continued to occupy positions along Finger 5 and on slopes extending towards Finger 8.

Incidentally, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had said last week India has “military options” to deal with China if military and diplomatic level talks did not get the desired results.

ALSO READ: Exclusive: On Independence Day, Galwan martyr Col Santosh Babu’s wife opens up on India’s hero

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