China assembling troops along lac amid de-escalation talks

China is in the process of amassing troops at Galwan Valley amid crucial de-escalation talks with India and is violating all the norms by doing so.The valley was the site of violent clashes on June 15-16 night that left 20 Indian Army personnel martyred and Chinese PLA also suffered casualties.

After the violent faceoff at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India held People’s Liberation Army(PLA) responsible and accused it of “amassing”a large contingent of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for nearly two months in violation of agreed norms of 1993 agreement between India and China wherein both countries committed to maintain “minimum levels” of deployment on both sides. Following the Chinese build-up, India had to make “counter deployments and the resulting tension has thereafter expressed itself”.

Indian Government has squarely blamed “Chinese Government” for increased tension and casualties of June 15 and has called on China to restore “peace and tranquillity” by implementing the June 6 disengagement plan agreed by military commanders, as peace at the borders is the “basis” of the India-China bilateral relationship.

“At the heart of the matter is that since early May, the Chinese side has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. “This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements, especially the key 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas.”

“All Infrastructure built by Indian side has always been on its own side of the LAC. The Indian side has never undertaken any actions across the LAC and has never attempted to unilaterally change the status quo. However, that has not been reciprocated by the Chinese side and that from time to time has led to face-offs” Mr. Srivastava said.

Even after such calls and request being made to restore peace between the two nations, latest satellite images have revealed an increased activity of Chinese structures of People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) in eastern Ladakh right behind the LAC. Satellite images also depict that China has expanded its heliport located 21.3 km north east from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Pangong Tso area. The images show that no new heliport has been constructed.The helibase is located in Pishan County, Hotan in Xinjiang, 176 kilometres north of Galwan. The new images were taken on June 22 this year and compared with those taken in 2017.

The satellite images from Maxar Technologies clearly indicated that the PLAGF has, in fact, come further forward to assert their claims to the Galwan Estuary.

An interesting development was observed in the Depsang Plains opposite India's Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector. Chinese troops have come forward and deployed around their existing posts in this area.

However, Indian defence experts have stated that India with two helipads closer to LAC has more advantage in the situation. The two helipads built in 2017 are right next to Finger 4 where an ITBP camp is positioned. The twin helipads stand next to each other, 3km west of the foxhole point at the base of Finger 4.

Since then, Tension has risen and now even India has undertaken necessary steps by increasing counter deployments along LAC.

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