Report By Nandika Chand | Kashmir Srinagar | Last Updated at May 26 2020
With tensions high between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), China may have increased its presence on its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh sector. Officials said China has reinforced its troop, with about 5,000 present in the region. They said the Chinese troops are scattered on China’s side.
In recent weeks, media reports have revealed a series of skirmishes and military build-up on both sides. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a long security review meeting today with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and three Services Chiefs to get a feel of what’s really happening on the ground. India is weighing its options to respond to provocation by China.
However, the governments of both countries have not issued an official comment on the stand-offs, with the first one being on May 5. Analysts are of the opinion that India and China don’t want the tensions to heighten further. Officials said India is tracking all aspects of the Chinese deployments and parity in troop numbers is being ensured.
Moreover, sources said China wants India to stop building infrastructure but this is unacceptable to New Delhi. And India has asked Beijing to maintain status quo at the border. China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) sore point has been been the 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that India built in 2019 on its side of the border. This road provides access to Depsang area and Galwan Valley and ends near the Karakoram Pass. Global Times has described this road illegal trespassing by India.
Furthermore, relations between Beijing and New Delhi has been souring after India joined a group of countries calling for a probe on the origin of the novel coronavirus pandemic. A foreign policy expert fears that media speculations will lead to a rise in nationalism and jingoism in both countries. The expert said there are media reports but lacks clarity about the ground situation.
The latest standoff between Chinese and Indian troops has once again brought the seven-decade old border dispute between China and India to the fore.