Rajat Sharma

Why India has told China that it must withdraw and reduce troops build-up in Ladakh

akb0210In the second round of top military level talks that went on late into the night for 11 hours on Monday, India clearly told China to withdraw its troops from Indian territory in Pangong lake area of Ladakh and remove its military build-ups in areas facing Galwan valley, Gogra-Hot Springs, Depsang and Chushul.

India reiterated its demand for restoration of status quo as it existed in mid-April, which implies that the Chinese army should withdraw its troops from Finger 4 to 8 on the northern bank of Pangong lake. There was no official word on the outcome of the talks between 14 Corps commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and Chinese PLA Major General Liu Lin. At the meeting, the Indian corps commander expressed anger over the barbaric attack on Indian troops by Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley.

In Delhi, Army chief Gen M M Narwane on Monday reviewed with senior commanders the operational ground situation and preparedness of our forces along the entire Line of Actual Control. This meeting will continue on Tuesday.

The overall morale of Indian troops is very high and they are raring to teach the Chinese a lesson for their treacherous attack which took a toll of 20 Indian jawans including a Colonel. The army chief will be visiting Ladakh soon to meet commanders and boost the morale of jawans.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh left for Moscow on a three-day trip to attend World War II Victory Day Parade scheduled for Wednesday. Rajnath Singh will be meeting his Russian counterpart and is expected to press for fast-tracking supply of weapon system and spare parts for Sukhoi and MiG aircrafts, T-90 main battle tanks and Kilo class submarines. India will request Russia to airlift these spare parts instead of shipping them by sea routes. India may also ask Russia to expedite delivery of the five squadrons of S-400 Triumf surface-to-war missile systems under the $ 5.43 billion deal signed in 2018.

On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will be participating in the Russian-India-China foreign minister level meeting through video conferencing, in which both the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers will take part. India has already made it stand clear: that it wants peace, but China must make amends for its transgressions and treacherous attack.

Indian armed forces are fully prepared to face any eventuality and round-the-clock vigil continues along the LAC. Presently, China has amassed nearly 23,000 troops in Galwan valley along with hundreds of infantry combat vehicles and armoured vehicles. These troops have set up tents and have come fully prepared. India has also deployed a sizeable number of troops to counter the Chinese challenge through mirror deployment.

China has taken aggressive postures against Japan and Taiwan also. Its bomber jets have entered Taiwan’s air space eight times in the last two weeks. China has also warned Japan of reprisal for renaming disputed islands claimed by both countries.

Clearly, China now finds itself in a tight corner and its leadership is desperately preparing to fight on many fronts. On the other hand, big powers of the West have openly extended their support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is confident of facing the Chinese challenge, and if there is any misadventure on part of the enemy, Indian forces are going to carry out a swift and decisive retaliation.

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