New Delhi: The movement by Chinese soldiers took place at Ladakh’s Pangong Lake overnight to change the status quo in the area, sources have said. With no road in the area, a huge number of Chinese troops, deployed along the south bank of the Pangong Lake, footed it westward. Their aim was to unilaterally occupy the area, sources said.
Sources said the Chinese troops came in “sufficient numbers”. But the Indian army was aware of the Chinese move and established themselves in a move to block the Chinese advance. No physical clashes took place and there is no face-off situation at present, sources said.
Indian forces in large numbers remain dug-in in the area and are ready to respond. Some Chinese forces also remain in the area, sources said.
This morning, the government said that the Chinese troops’ attempt to carry out “provocative military movements to change the status quo” near Pangong lake has been blocked by the Indian army. A Brigade Commander-level meeting is on at Chushul to defuse tension, the government said.
This is a new area that the Chinese troops transgressed and it was carried out after five rounds of talks between the armies of both nations to resolve the tension along the Line of Actual Control that started April-May and peaked with the clash in Galwan valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action. The Indian Army also inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese soldiers in what turned out to be the worst clash between the troops of the two nations in more than five decades along the Line of Actual Control.
India and China had resolved to work out the deadlock that started as Chinese intrusions were reported in the Fingers region on the banks of the Pangong Lake, the Hot Springs area, the Galwan Valley, and the Depsang Plains further to the north.
In July, following talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, India and China had started 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.
Last week, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said India has “military options” to deal with China if the military and diplomatic level talks did not get the desired results.