Amid the ongoing border standoff with India, China has deployed two divisions of troops (20,000) along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in eastern Ladakh sector with another division comprising 10,000 soldiers on standby in Northern Xinjiang province, according to government sources.
“The China Army has deployed around two divisions worth of troops (around 20,000) along the LoAC in the eastern Ladakh sector. There is another division (10,000 troops) which has been stationed by it in the Northern Xinjiang province almost a 1,000 km from the front but they can be mobilised to reach our frontiers in maximum 48 h time due to the flat terrain on the Chinese side,” media quoted top government sources as saying.
The government sources, however, said that India is keeping a close eye on the movement of the Chinese troops deployed close to the Indian border as well as those on standby in Xinjiang.
“We are keeping a close eye on the movement of these troops along with the ones which have been deployed close to the Indian territory,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy is sending a dozen high-powered, bigger capacity and top-of-the-line surveillance equipped steel boats to Ladakh so that the Indian Army can patrol Pangong Tso and match the heavier Type 928 B vessels of the Chinese Army lake fleet. The Pangong Tso lake is at the centre of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aggression in eastern Ladakh with the Chinese bullying India into ceding territory on both the banks and deliberately pushing the Modi government into retaliatory mode.
While the third senior military commander level talks stretched late into Tuesday night at Chushul, the word out is that they were held in cordial atmosphere with both the Leh Corps Commander and his Xinjiang Military district counterpart discussing the specifics of de-escalation and dis-engagement along the 3,488 km the LoAC.
The decision to send steel hulled boats to Pangong Tso was taken by the tri-services this week with the Navy asked to transport the vessels through C-17 heavy lift transporters to Leh on a priority basis. Apart from signalling Indian intent to stand up strong to any Chinese provocation, the heavier vessels will not be pushed around in the water by PLA boat fleet. Even though there are some logistical issues in transporting the huge boats by plane, solutions are being worked out by both Indian Navy and Army.
The Indian Navy is forwardly deployed on its eastern and western seaboards with its naval fleets monitoring the movement of ships from Andamans Sea to Persian Gulf to prevent any untoward activity.
The Modi government has given Indian military a free hand to deal with the situation on the border as China has decided to turn the difference on the LoAC into permanent dispute. The Indian troops and air force are all standing up to the PLA but will not initiate escalation on their own but only responds to the Chinese aggression. Just like 2001 Operation Parakram, Indian Forces are prepared to wait till such time status quo ante is restored in eastern Ladakh.
Even as the world, particularly the US and Russia, are waking up to new Chinese aggression, the Middle kingdom has always been a civilizational concept with Beijing rulers in the past two centuries. In this concept the only refined society is China with the rest of world being barbarians or tributary states. By contesting sovereignty of Senkaku islands with Japan, contesting Taiwan security with US, contesting the South China Sea with ASEAN and forcing India into a military stand-off in Ladakh, China is cocking a snook at the globe.