India-China LAC row : PLA reduces presence in border area

Although China has agreed to de-escalate tension between the two countries, India needs to be alert at all times considering the U-turns of China which India has experienced since 1962 !

New Delhi – After the successful outcome of the 6th July meeting between National Security Adviser and Special Representative for boundary talks, Ajit Doval, and his counterpart and Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, there has been a palpable lowering of tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies along the 3,488 km. Line of Actual Control (LAC). The aggressive Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has thinned its presence at Finger Four in Pangong Tso, has withdrawn from forward positions to base camps in the Galwan sector, and is on the way back to its April positions in the Gogra and Hot Springs area.

Disengagement has begun with de-escalation to follow in next three weeks – 3 divisions (30,000 troops) each of the Indian and Chinese armies are still facing each other from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

The escalation in tension in eastern Ladakh was triggered by a clash between the two armies in Pangong Tso on 5th May in which a sizeable number of personnel from both sides were injured.

A few days later there was a similar physical clash in Naku La in Sikkim though on a smaller scale. The military face-off continued and led to skirmish at Galwan Valley patrol point 14 on night of 15th June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers also suffered casualty.

The reduction on the ridge-line comes ahead of another round of talks between senior military commanders from India and China to finalise modalities for Phase II of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control. The areas under discussion will include Pangong Lake and Depsang where Chinese troops have intruded into the area between Finger 4-8 where Indian patrols have been a regular presence.

The de-escalation following disengagement is expected to see de-mobilising of troops. Indian commanders are keeping a very close vigil to see that PLA adheres to what its political leadership has promised.