India has become a little smaller and China just got a bit bigger, Rohit Khanna of the Quint says, adding: "It is now clear we have lost control of the land on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Depsang, at the Galwan Valley, at Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh and at least 3 areas along our border with China in Arunachal Pradesh as well."
The first step to getting any of this land back, Khanna argues, would be for the Indian government to categorically accept that contrary to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'no intrusion' remarks, substantial incursions have taken place while this government looked away.
While Indian Army sources claim to have "matched" the PLA's additional deployments of troops, artillery guns and armored vehicles at every sector along the LAC in Ladakh, the fact is that China has occupied strategically critical chunks of Indian territory and wants us to accept it all as the new status quo, Khanna added.
According to Khanna in East Ladakh, the Chinese army now controls a crucial Y-junction near the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP's) Burtse camp, about 15 kilometres within India's side of the Line of Actual Control. It's also known as 'Bottleneck' because ITBP soldiers headed for Patrol Points 10, 11, 12 or 13 must cross this junction. Earlier, both armies patrolled the area, but the Chinese have stopped the ITBP from going past this point since April.
China's second intrusion is at the Galwan Valley - exactly at Patrol Point 14 where India lost 20 of its soldiers within days of the clash. Even as generals and diplomats were in talks, the Chinese set up a larger camp with gun positions in place of the observation post that Indian troops destroyed on 15 June.
China's third intrusion is on the north shore of Pangong Tso, that's been talked about a fair bit, and is well-documented too. The Chinese army now controls the area between Finger 4 and Finger 8, eight kilometres to the west of the LAC that passes through Finger 8.
With Chinese and Indian troops eyeball-to-eyeball at seven places inside India's claimed territory in Ladakh and Sikkim, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has begun stepping up activity opposite Arunachal Pradesh as well, the Business Standard reported.
The newspaper quoted Indian sources as saying that PLA troops here are reinforcing their posts in large numbers, increasing their patrolling and stepping up violations of the Indian border - which in Arunachal Pradesh runs along the McMahon Line.
The two sectors that are seeing the most PLA activity are Tawang and Walong - which both bore the brunt of the Chinese offensive in 1962.
While there has been no occupation of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh yet, as there has in Ladakh, the army taking the Chinese activity seriously, the Quint said.
China claims all of Arunachal as Chinese territory, a claim India rejects. Arunachal's northern borders, also known as the McMahon line, are India's borders with China, which it expects China to respect.
India's options to end border standoff with China
Sushant Singh of the Indian Express Saturday (July 4) discussed four options for India to restore status quo on the LAC.
The first option may be to evict the Chinese by force, destroy what they built. But Singh rules out this option, arguing:
This will almost certainly lead to military escalation and in a full-blown war. Even the limited attempt to evict the Chinese from the observation post near PP14 on June 15 led to the clash in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese lost their lives.
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