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Chinese troops resort to aggressive stances in Ladakh, North Sikkim: Sources | India News


NEW DELHI: Tension is gradually building between the Indian and Chinese armies in various areas of Ladakh and northern Sikkim along the unmarked Sino-Indian border with both sides bringing in additional troops, days after they were involved in two violent clashes, authorized sources said Tuesday.

The Indian and Chinese armies have brought more troops to sensitive locations such as Demchok, Daulat Beg Oldie and areas around the Galwan River, as well as Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, the sources said.

The area around Galwan has been a point of friction between the two sides for more than six decades. They also had a confrontation in 1962.

The sources said both sides have deployed their troops around the Galwan River and Pangong Tso Lake, the two areas where they used to carry out the border patrol.

The Chinese side is known to have erected a considerable number of tents in the Galwan Valley area, after which India holds a hawk-eye vigil there.

On May 5, around 250 Indian and Chinese military personnel clashed with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to throwing stones in the Pangong Tso Lake area, in which soldiers on both sides suffered injuries.

In a separate incident, about 150 Indian and Chinese military clashed near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector on May 9. According to sources, at least 10 soldiers on both sides were injured in the incident.

Neither the Army nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the growing tension between the two armies.

In its reaction to the two clashes, the Foreign Ministry said last week that it remained committed to maintaining peace and tranquility along the border with China, noting that such incidents could have been avoided if there was a common perception about border.

Additional troops are also known to have been moved to various areas in northern Sikkim as part of their aggressive stance to protect the disputed border.

A Chinese official media report said Monday that Chinese troops have tightened their border control measures in the Galwan Valley in the Aksai Chin region.

The Chinese move followed “the recent illegal construction of Indian defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region,” a report in the Global Times state tabloid said, citing unidentified military sources. .

The two sides’ aggressive stance came amid India’s growing border line with Nepal over the construction of a strategically key highway linking Lipulekh Pass to Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

Army chief General MM Naravane said last week that Nepal opposed the newly opened highway at the behest of “someone else” in an apparent reference to possible Chinese instigation in this regard. Nepal rejected the comments.

The Lipulekh Pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim that Kalapani is an integral part of their territory.

It was unclear whether General Naravane will visit Nepal soon, following a tradition of the new Indian Army chief visiting Nepal after taking over.

His predecessor, General Bipin Rawat, visited Nepal less than three months after taking office, during which he was conferred the title of Honorary General of the Nepalese Army.

China said on Tuesday that the Kalapani problem is between India and Nepal and hoped the two neighbors would refrain from “unilateral actions” and adequately resolve their disputes through friendly consultations.

On May 8, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh opened the strategically crucial 80 km long road at a height of 17,000 km along the Chinese border in Uttarakhand.

Troops from India and China clashed in a 73-day standoff at the Doklam crossing in 2017, even raising fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The border dispute between India and China spans the 3,488 km Royal Control Line, the de facto border between the two countries.

China claims that Arunachal Pradesh is part of southern Tibet, while India disputes it.

Both sides have been asserting that, pending the final resolution of the boundary problem, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

China has criticized the J&K reorganization in India and has particularly criticized New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China claims various parts of Ladakh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first informal summit in April 2018 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, months after the Doklam clash.

At the summit, the two leaders decided to issue “strategic guidance” to their armies to strengthen communications so that they can build trust and understanding.

Modi and Xi held their second informal summit in Mamallapuram, near Chennai, in October last year, with the aim of further expanding bilateral relations.

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