LAC: India prepares for tense winter along border with China
Amid growing tensions along the Indo-China border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India is preparing for a prolonged standoff through the winter. Reportedly, there has been no incident along the border with both Indian and Chinese forces holding their positions for the fourth straight day. Tensions between the two nations had intensified after an early-May face-off in Ladakh. Here are more details.
No incident along LAC since Foreign Ministers' meet
Officials told News18 1,500-2,000 troops along the LAC at the North Bank of Pangong Tso continued to hold their respective positions. There has been no incident along the border since Minister of External Affairs S Jaishanker held a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. An official said, "The situation is status quo. Local commanders have been talking and ensured that things do not escalate."
Status quo likely to continue till corps commander-level talks
The status quo is expected to continue until the corps commander-level talks scheduled this week, officials said. Brigadier-level talks held after the Jaishanker-Wang meeting have reportedly not accomplished any breakthrough. An official said, "The Chinese are only talking in tactical terms. They talk about how many men deployed on our side and where but give no indication of disengagement or withdrawal from their end."
China prepares for long haul; India readies for 'hot winter'
Reportedly, the ground assessment is that China is preparing for a prolonged standoff and India is readying for a "hot winter" since expectations from corps commander-level talks are not high. Special equipment and tents were sent to LAC to help Indian troops endure sub-zero temperatures in November-December. Special shoes and clothing have also been procured to protect soldiers from frostbites, hypothermia, and pulmonary edema.
Efforts on to transport essentials before mountain passes close
The tents are made from a special fabric that can accommodate 8-10 soldiers and have a heating apparatus, Bukhari, which runs on kerosene. Hence, efforts are on to transport fuel and other essentials to the border before the Zojila and Rohtang passes close for winter.
Border tensions remain heightened since early-May clash
Tensions along the LAC intensified after clashes between the two forces at various locations in early-May. Since then, both sides have been engaged in diplomatic and military-level talks. However, even as the talks continued, a violent clash erupted in the Galwan Valley on June 15, which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army soldiers. China has not confirmed the official number of casualties.
Indian and Chinese forces faced off recently near Pangong Tso
Earlier this month, Indian and Chinese forces had faced off again near the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. The latest escalation witnessed firing of shots, a first in about 45 years along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).