China’s Attempts To Dislodge Indian Troops From Heights South Of Pangong Tso Exacerbate Tensions; Here’s What’s Happening Now
China’s attempts to dislodge and push back Indian troops from the heights they took control of late last month in the areas south of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh have exacerbated tensions between the two countries.
The latest reports suggest that the two sides are locked in close-quarter standoffs at multiple points, including Mukpari, which lies north of Rezang La.
At some points in the area, Indian and Chinese soldiers are only a few hundred meters apart — a situation which experts say can quickly spiral out of control.
Late on Monday (7 September), China’s Western Theatre Command had accused Indian troops deployed south of Pangong Tso of firing “warning shots”.
“Indian troops illegally crossed the Line of Actual Control, outrageously fired warning shots on Chinese border patrol soldiers who were about to negotiate,” a report in China’s hawkish state-owned propaganda outlet Global Times said.
In a statement issued today (8 September), the Indian Army rubbished China’s allegations and said that the firing had been done by Chinese troops.
This development comes just days after Indian and Chinese defence ministers met in Moscow on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation event.
Days before this meeting, which reports said had been requested by China, the Indian Army, aided by men from 7 Vikas, a Special Frontier Force unit comprising highly-trained commandos from the Tibetan refugee community in India, had occupied heights south of the Pangong Lake to “preempt” the PLA.
Tensions have been high in the region since the Indian Army outmaneuvered the PLA before it could capture heights in the area.
The standoff between the two sides in Ladakh began when the PLA occupied territory along the Line of Actual Control in early May, including the contested area between Finger 4 and Finger 8 on the northern bank of the Pangong Lake.
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