China Insists India To Vacate The Mountain Tops Before Withdrawal Of Troops

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New Delhi : Efforts are on to end the tense atmosphere between India and China in Ladakh before winter for the past several months. China is now insisting that India must clear the mountain tops on the southern bank of Pangong Lake before discussing the withdrawal of troops from elsewhere in eastern Ladakh. This is the place where there has been a war-like situation between the two sides in the last four months.

The Chinese Army is in favor of resolving the situation on the southern side first, where the Indian Army has strategically strengthened its position. Whereas India wants a roadmap for evacuation of troops from all places in East Ladakh on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is prepared. Sources said that during the sixth round of talks at the Corps Commander level, India’s position was that all the disputed areas including the Despang Maidan adjacent to the LAC should be discussed.

One official said, “Why would there be discussion for only one or two places, whereas the situation is tense in the whole region.” The mountain peaks that are important for India on the southern bank of Pangong Lake, including Rechin La, Rejang La, Mukarpi, have been captured. These, along with some other peaks, allow India to dominate the Spanggur Gap under Chinese control, as well as the Chinese border Moldo Garrison.

The same thing is provoking the Chinese Army, because many efforts were made to drive out Indian soldiers from here, during which firing was also done as a warning. India changed the rules of its activities after the conflict in the Galvan Valley on 15 June in which 20 Indian soldiers, including Colonel Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment, were martyred. In this violent clash, China attacked Indian soldiers with weapons made of iron, just like the medieval era.

Army sources said that since then the Indian Army has given the commanders the authority at the ground level to decide whether to use weapons if their army faces a lethal situation and China has also been informed about this. Sources said that in the recent meeting of the Corps Commander level, India made it clear that since China had started, it should retreat first, after which India will also return. Both sides have held 6 rounds of talks at the military level.

However, China is showing little interest in the immediate removal of troops at Pangong Lake, Fingers Area, Hot Springs and Depsang. Sources said that the Indian side has said that if China is not ready to go back to the status quo, then Indian soldiers are ready for the long haul.

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