The situation in East Ladakh continues to remain tense with the Indian Army matching the heavy weapon posturing of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on 31 August after pre-empting China from moving into the dominating heights south of Pangong Tso on 29-30 August night, people familiar with the development said.
“The situation is very tense in the Chushul area with the PLA fully in aggressive mode and show-casing heavy-calibre weapons to force the Indian Army to give in. The Indian Army has also matched weapons and blunted the Chinese offensive both at south of Pangong Tso and Rezang La by a counter-offensive mounted by the Special Frontier Forces,” said a senior military official.
As of now, both the armies are matching each other in strength with the Indian Army present in strength to repel any Chinese aggression along the 1,597 km Line of Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
The Indian counter-offensive has ensured that its troops are now dominating heights along its side of the LAC and monitoring the Chinese movement. “The situation is dire and the possibility of escalation cannot be ruled out as Chinese PLA under instruction of Beijing is going all out to push the Indian Army,” said a second senior military commander.
While military-to-military and diplomatic channels are open between the two countries, fact is India is now facing China which believes that it is a global superpower and wants to make its posturing in Ladakh to send a message to its adversaries elsewhere.
“The Chinese president is in the Middle-Kingdom mode and will continue to deepen the difference on the LAC. It is deliberately trying to push the Indian Army into reaction without caring a damn that this might lead to serious blood-letting. The Chinese aggressive posture will continue till the November US Presidential elections as there is no other country which is willing to take on Beijing,” said a China watcher.
There is a glimmer of hope for peace if the meeting between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi happens on the side-lines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ministerial meet in Moscow. But any further escalation from the PLA will end up scuttling any diplomatic initiative.
Even as the PLA aggression in Ladakh is on, national security planners in Delhi are monitoring all moves with clear-cut directions that there should be no territorial compromise in Ladakh or anywhere along the 3,488 km LAC.