A person familiar with the development said India was keeping a close eye on Chinese troops along its eastern periphery given the multiple intrusions in Ladakh to the west, since May
New Delhi: India has sent in additional troops to secure the north bank of Pangong Tso lake as well as its eastern borders with China, digging into positions its controls along the undemarcated border while bracing for more possible intrusions by the Chinese army.
A person familiar with the development said India was keeping a close eye on Chinese troops along its eastern periphery given the multiple intrusions in Ladakh to the west, since May.
In Ladakh itself, the scene of fresh tensions over the weekend after repeated attempts by Chinese troops to open a new front on the southern banks of the Pangong Tso lake, India has bolstered its positions, a second person familiar with the matter said.“As part of the precautionary deployment carried out on 30 August, some readjustments of our positions on the north bank of Pangong Tso Lake on our side of LAC (Line of Actual Control) was also carried out," the person said without elaborating.
Tensions have been high between the two countries since May when India first detected intrusions at multiple points by Chinese soldiers. Ties frayed further on 15 June when soldiers of the two countries clashed for the first time in 45 years with India reporting the deaths of 20 soldiers. China did not put a number to the troops it had lost in the clash. On Monday, the Indian army said it had taken pre-emptive steps to ensure the Chinese did not make inroads into the southern bank of the lake that India has always controlled and had remained undisputed. Chinese soldiers made repeated attempts to intrude into Indian territory including at a time when senior military commanders were in talks to resolve the matter, the Indian foreign ministry said on Tuesday. This was seen as the most serious incident since the Galwan valley clash in June.
The talks at the brigade commander level continued for the third day on Wednesday after an inconclusive round on Tuesday.
With India reinforcing its positions and taking strategic heights on the south banks, soldiers of the two sides were seen to be 300 – 500 metres apart with the possibility of a localized conflict high, analysts said. The situation on the southern banks of the picturesque Pangong Tso lake in was “quite seriously" tense, the second person cited above said.
Meanwhile, officials in New Delhi ruled out the possibility of a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe on the margins of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow this week.
Singh left for Moscow on Wednesday on a three day visit. Defence ministers of all SCO member nations are expected to discuss regional security challenges in Moscow on Friday, officials said. Singh will also have a separate meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu. In his meeting with Shoigu, Singh is expected to push for the speedy delivery of a number of weapons systems, ammunition and spares to India under earlier contracts given the tensions with China. One of the key systems that India has purchased from Russia is S-400 missile defence system with the first batch scheduled to be delivered in 2021. In October 2018, India had signed a $ 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile system.