On the intervening night of 29 and 30 August, the Indian Army, along with troops from the Special Frontier Force, preempted the Chinese by occupying heights in the Chushul sector south of the Pangong Tso lake.
The next day, the Army moved its T-72 tanks to some of these heights, a new report from Ladakh by journalist Nitin Gokhale reveals.
The Indian Army’s move, which was approved by the Narendra Modi government, surprised the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the report adds.
“The next day, after a quick clearance from Delhi, Indian Army’s Northern Command also deployed T-72 tanks on some of the above mentioned peaks, once again catching the Chinese unawares,” the report reads.
Over the next few days, China also deployed tanks close to Indian positions.
Currently, Indian and Chinese tanks are only about 400 meters apart.
“Of course, in the next few days, the PLA also moved tanks close to Indian positions in this sector. Now, in what must be a first anywhere in the world, tanks from both sides are some 400 metres apart at an altitude of 16,000-plus feet, ranged against each other, their barrels facing backwards,” the report says.
The report adds that the Chinese side has shown “ eagerness to de-escalate and disengage” after India called out its bluff and refused to budge.
India and China have exchanged some proposals on disengagement and de-escalation in the seventh round of military-level talks held on 12 October.
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