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Indian troops preempt Chinese army’s activity on southern bank of Pangong Tso

The army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity through dialogue but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity, Indian Army said.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Chinese Army has carried out provocative military movements on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake on Saturday night to change the status quo, the Indian Army said in a statement.

A Brigade Commander-level meeting is on at Chushul to defuse tension, the government said.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo,” said the statement.

“Indian troops preempted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” it said.

The statement further said that the army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity.

In the last few months, the presence of Chinese troops at the LAC has remained a key concern for the Indian side.

The Finger Area has emerged as the hardest part of the disengagement process. However, the disengagement has been somewhat smooth at the Galwan Valley and Hot Springs with sluggish pace.

Last week, taking a sharp tone on the issue, the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had said India has “military options” to deal with China if the military and diplomatic level talks did not produce results.

The stand-off between the two Asian superpowers escalated in the eastern Ladakh region in April-May and peaked on June 15 when 20 Indian soldiers were martyred at the Galwan Valley.

In retaliation, around 40 PLA soldiers were also killed, but China maintained not to disclose the number.

Talks paced up after the stand-off resulting in agreement to disengage from the LAC, but the withdrawal is still not complete.

PLA troop continue to occupy positions on the slopes along Finger 5 extending towards Finger 8.

The bone of contention between the two sides is the interpretation of LAC in the mountainous region as the Indian side believes that Line of Actual Control lies at Finger 8 while China believes the LAC is at Finger 4.

In April, the Chinese side had prevented the Indian troops from patrolling beyond this area.