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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/29/21

In Demchok, China erects tents on 'Indian side' amid Ladakh standoff

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More than a year has passed since border tensions between India and China spiked after the worst clash in almost five decades in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, in the Aksai Chin-Ladakh area, the Chinese have erected tents on the Indian side of the Charding Nala in Demchok in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Express quoted senior government officials as saying.

The officials described the people occupying these tents as "so-called civilians", and said that even though India has been asking them to go back, "their presence remains".

Demchok has seen face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops earlier too. The two sides had agreed that Demchok and Trig Heights were disputed points on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during meetings of the India-China joint working groups (JWG) back in the 1990s.

Besides these 12 areas that are either mutually agreed as disputed or where the two sides have differing perceptions of where the LAC lies, five friction points have been added to the LAC in eastern Ladakh over the last year, after the current stand-off began, officials said.

Lieutenant General Kamal Davar (retd), who served as the first director general of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Quint, "The Chinese are using 'salami-slicing' tactics to slowly gobble up Indian territory. They have not moved back an inch since last year."

'India Made a Mistake By Striking a Partial Deal With China'

Meanwhile, Major General Ashok K Mehta (retd) told the Quint, "The tents have been set up in reaction to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi did by wishing the Dalai Lama on his birthday.

"India has no leverage to take a position or dictate the course of events. Though India has been advocating for dialogue, the Chinese are going the way they want to go, to make you beg and crawl. They will talk when they want. The Chinese are showing India the eye."

However, considering the disengagement a mistake, Major General Mehta (retd) said, "We made a mistake in February by taking a partial deal of withdrawing from Kailash Heights, instead of taking a package deal to disengage from all friction points. Once they got India off the heights, they were happy, as operationally it's easier for them to strategize."

China-India talks

China had proposed the 12th round of Corps Commander-level talks on Monday, but India, which observes July 26 as Kargil Day to commemorate the victory over Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil war, asked for the discussions to be postponed by a few days. The Corps Commander-level talks are now likely to take place in the first week of August, or perhaps earlier, sources said.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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