With diplomatic and military talks on resolving the military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh not making much headway, Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat Monday said India has "military options" available, but these will be used only if talks fail.
This is the first time that a senior military officer has spoken publicly on the "transgressions by the Chinese" and the option of military force to deal with the border crisis in Ladakh, the Indian Express pointed out.
"Transgressions along the LAC occur due to differing perceptions about its alignment. Defense services are tasked to monitor and carry out surveillance and prevent such transgressions turning into intrusions. Whole of government approach is adopted to peacefully resolve any such activity and prevent intrusions. Defense services always remain prepared for military actions should all efforts to restore status quo along the LAC do not succeed," General Rawat told Hindustan Times.
His statement comes even as the government prepares for another round of military talks with China to try and break the stalemate over disengagement of troops in Pangong Tso and the Gogra Post area.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops are sitting at various disputed and friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). They have refused to disengage since mid-July and have started construction work on those disputed junctions. Apart from that they have been raising unacceptable points before India, according to India media.
China has changed the status quo on the LAC at various places. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels. Both the countries are locked in a more than three-month-long standoff at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented, along the border.
Beijing has also started troop and material build-up in depth areas across the 3,488-km LAC. India has found that China has deployed troops, artillery and armor in three sectors of the LAC -- western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).
A bloody skirmish between the two sides resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese casualties on June 15, but while Beijing has repeatedly spoken of peace and tranquility, it continues to maintain its presence in the region.
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