India-China standoff: PLA troops still stationed along LAC despite disengagement

WION New Delhi Jul 23, 2020, 08.29 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Indian troops at a mountain range near Leh, Ladakh Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Chinese troops are still reportedly present in the Fingers region along Pangong lake where India and China had started the disengagement process

India and China have held multiple rounds of disengagement talks but China is not honouring its commitments. The People’s Liberation Army(PLA) is maintaining heavy troop deployment with almost 40,000 Chinese troops stationed close to the border.

The Chinese troops have been supported by heavy weaponry - air defence systems, armoured personnel carriers and long-range artillery.

Chinese troops are still reportedly present in the Fingers region along Pangong lake where India and China had started the disengagement process by creating a buffer zone.

The northern bank of the Pangong lake resembles the human hand with various protrusions identified as fingers. The problem seems to be at Finger Five from where the Chinese troops are reportedly not moving back.

There are reports of heavy construction in Hot Springs and the Gogra post area - the two friction points in eastern Ladakh sector.

On Friday, both sides are expected to hold a meeting which will be at the foreign ministry level. The last round of military talks happened on July 14-15 as both sides agreed to mutually monitor the disengagement process.

There has been no major progress since then so the disengagement has stalled. The border dispute has pushed the India-China relationship to a new low. India has responded with a series of retaliatory moves. Now, it is working with allies to turn up the heat on Beijing. 

India and the United States have reportedly intensified their intelligence and military collaboration with more information and intelligence being shared between both sides. It includes sharing of high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts and data sharing.

On Wednesday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo accused China of initiating a conflict at the border. The deepening cooperation between America and India was quite apparent in his speech.

India is keeping a tight watch on the movements of Chinese soldiers. New Delhi wants to restore the status quo with a complete pullback of Chinese troops and equipment from the LAC.

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