Ladakh Standoff: Defence Ministry admits Chinese transgression for 1st time, warns of prolonged India-China confrontation

This information has come to light at a time when five rounds of military-level talks have been held to ensure disengagement of the two armies from the confrontation points in Pangong Tso and Gogra.

Ladakh Standoff: Defence Ministry admits Chinese transgression for 1st time, warns of prolonged India-China confrontation
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Manish Kumar, New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence has officially acknowledged for the first time that Chinese troops had infiltrated Indian territory in eastern Ladakh in May. 


This information has come to light at a time when five rounds of military-level talks have been held to ensure disengagement of the two armies from the confrontation points in Pangong Tso and Gogra.


The Ministry of Defense has uploaded a document on its website in which it has acknowledged that since May, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has been steadily increasing its build-up on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), especially in areas like the Galvan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra and Hot Spring. 


According to the document, China has encroached in the North Bank of Kungrang Nala, Gogra and Pangong Tso in Ladakh between May 17 and 18.


The Defence Ministry's status report on the border tension in eastern Ladakh also warned that the present stand-off with China is likely to be a prolonged one. 


The report stated that the situation in eastern Ladakh arising from "unilateral aggression by China continues to be sensitive and requiring close monitoring and prompt action based on evolving situation."


The ministry stated that Chinese aggression has been increasing along the Line of Actual Control and more particularly in Galwan Valley since May 5, 2020.


"Consequent to this, ground level interactions were held between armed forces of both sides to defuse the situation. Corps Commander Level Flag Meeting was held on June 6. 2020. However, a violent face-off incident took place between the two sides on June 15, 2O2O resulting in casualties of both sides," the ministry stated.


It further pointed out that subsequently second Corps Commander Level Meeting took place on June 22, 2020 to discuss the modalities of the de-escalation process.


"While engagement and dialogue at military and diplomatic level is continuing to arrive at mutually acceptable consensus the present stand-off is likely to be prolonged," the report stated. 


The report ended by saying that "prompt action based on the evolving situation" should be taken.


The third meeting took place on June 30 and it went on for around 12 hours. During the meeting, all contentious areas of stand-off were discussed to stabilise the situation.


China had agreed to move back in Pangong Tso but did not. India claims Line of Actual Control at Finger 8 and Chinese are sitting between Finger 4 and Finger 5. Similar, differences exist in Depsang and Demchok.


The fourth meeting took place on July 14 where India and China military delegates held deliberations about disengagement of troops and materials at the borders for 15 long hours. Indian delegates asked Chinese People's Liberation Army troops to completely withdraw from Pangong Lake and Depsang.


The fifth meeting that took place on August 2 made it clear that China's commitment for disengagement at the border in Eastern Ladakh was non-committal and the Indian authorities directed armed forces to prepare for a long haul.


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