India-China conflict below threshold of shooting war, but could take any trajectory
New Delhi, Sep 10: In response to the intimidating military moves by China, India has moved its front-line tanks and infantry combat vehicles to the strategic heights held by its soldiers on the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
The People's Liberation Army is parading it tank squadrons, mechanised infantry squads in addition to thousands of soldiers to threaten the Indian Army. It may be recalled that India had prevented the PLA from grabbing Indian territory on August 29.
A top official told OneIndia that the conflict is below the threshold of a shooting war, but it could take any trajectory. The PLA has deployed around 5,000 soldiers in the area. The official however added that India is fully prepared to deal with any contingency.
China has deployed a sizeable number of military assets in the Eastern Ladakh theatre, which includes 5,000 troops, heavy artillery, missiles, air defence systems and 150 aircraft. India won the other hand is matching every move made by China.
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The official cited above said that if China brings in more troops, so will India. Currently, the Indian soldiers are just a few 100 metres away from the Chinese troops at Finger 4.
When asked about the seriousness of the situation, the officer said that there are skirmishes, firing, smaller conflicts. A shooting war has not happened and we have not reached that stage as yet. China does not want to start a war, the official said while adding that we are completely prepared for any contingency.
Meanwhile, the hotlines are working full time a day ahead of the meeting between the two leaders.
Diplomats on both sides are talking after Monday's incident in which the Chinese PLA fired shots, a first in 45 years. Both sides are talking to dial down the tensions and a meeting of the Special Representatives is also likely this week.
Sources tell OneIndia that following the incident, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was briefed about the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Indian Army Chief, on the other hand, briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after China said that India had fired warning shots, a claim that India has strongly denied. PM Modi was briefed by National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. Top sources confirmed that several meetings are on the anvil today to take stock of the situation along the LAC.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar arrived in Moscow and is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi on September 10. Jaishankar would tell Yi to honour all bi-lateral agreements signed between the two countries since 1993.
After China claimed that Indian forces had fired shots, an official statement from India said that it is committed to disengagement and de-escalating the situation along the Line of Action Control. However, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate.
At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to any aggressive means, including firing.
It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres while engagement at the military, diplomatic level is in progress.
In the instant case on September 7, 2020, it was the PLA which was attempting to close in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops., PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate the Indian troops.
However despite grave provocation, the Indian troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.