Sizeable number of Chinese troops at Ladakh confrontation, top-level military meeting on June 6: Rajnath Singh | India News

NEW DELHI: India and China will now hold a top-level military meeting on June 6 in a bid to resolve the troop confrontation in eastern Ladakh, said defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, while finally admitting Chinese soldiers were present in “a sizeable number” in the high-altitude region.
Defence sources said the June 6 meeting is all set to be raised to the level of Lt-Generals from the two armies ranged against each other, in a clear indication the several rounds of talks between the rival colonels, brigadiers and major generals have failed to break the deadlock in the month-long military stalemate.
Northern Army Command chief Lt-Gen Y K Joshi also visited Ladakh on Tuesday morning to review the operational situation with the Leh-based 14 Corps commander Lt-Gen Harinder Singh and other top officers. “Another meeting between Maj Gens was held on Tuesday but it remained inconclusive. So, Lt-Gen Singh is now likely to meet with his Chinese counterpart on June 6,” said a source.
The defence minister, on his part, had last week confirmed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had “come a little further than they used to earlier” to make the “situation different” this time from earlier military face-offs.
On Tuesday, in an interview to a television channel, he added the PLA soldiers were present in “achhi khasi sankhya” (sizeable/significant number) but were being matched by Indian troops who had taken all the necessary counter-measures.
Without going into either the number of PLA troops involved or how deep their intrusions were across the LAC, he said military and diplomatic talks were underway to resolve the confrontation like the earlier ones — including the 73-day Dokalm face-off in June-August 2017 – had been in the past.
Indian and Chinese troops have been engaging in frequent scuffles and face-offs due to “differing perceptions” of the LAC and their respective “claim lines” for a long time. “I think China also needs to think about this very seriously so that we can fully resolve this dispute,” said Singh.
As earlier reported by TOI, PLA troops intruded around 1-3 km into what India considers to be its territory in eastern Ladakh early last month. This was primarily to oppose India’s building of feeder link roads and bridges in the “finger areas” (mountainous spurs) on the northern bank of Pangong Tso and near the Galwan river after completing the strategically-crucial 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road, which provides access to the Depsang area and Galwan Valley while ending near the Karakoram Pass.
Since then, the tense eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation at the four to five locations in the Galwan Valley region (patrolling points 14-15 and Gogra post), Pangong Tso (Finger 4-5 area) and Demchok has continued, with both sides reinforcing their positions with additional troops and heavy weapons within their territories as a formidable show of strength.
The PLA troops at the face-off sites, for instance, are backed by well over 5,000 soldiers as well as artillery guns and armoured vehicles amassed within Chinese territory across the LAC.
India, too, has more than matched the PLA build-up by moving forward troops of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division (each division has 10,000-12,000 soldiers) into their “operational alert areas”, with several battalions (each has 800 soldiers) also being moved into Ladakh from other areas, as was first reported by TOI on May 24.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)