Chinese troops have been found to be increasing by the day along the LAC.
China has deployed bombers, armoured vehicles and heavy artillery besides special forces as well as infantry units along the border with India, state media reports said on Wednesday, in a rare acknowledgment of what seems like a massive mobilisation of troops and equipment along the disputed boundary.
Usually, official media highlights exercises in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to demonstrate its military might along the border with India like it did last August, and repeatedly during the Doklam (Donglang) standoff in 2017.
The words ‘deployment’ or ‘mobilisation’ are seldom used in the context of the border with India.
The news reports did not specify since when the troops were being mobilised from different parts of China to the border. But they attributed the movement of troops and equipment to the ongoing boundary tension in eastern Ladakh.
The reports added that soldiers, guns and aircraft were moved near the border areas not only from different parts of China but also different theatre commands.India has repeatedly and consistently rejected China’s allegations that Indian troops crossed over to the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, asserting that New Delhi has always taken a responsible approach towards border management and maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The Indian Army has further bolstered its dominance over a number of strategic heights overlooking key Chinese-held positions around Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh even as brigade commanders and commanding officers of the two militaries held separate talks to cool tensions in the region, government sources said.
Tension escalated manifold in eastern Ladakh following fresh face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops in Mukhpari area of Rezang-La ridgeline on Monday evening.
The Indian Army on Tuesday said Chinese troops attempted to close in on an Indian position near the southern bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh the previous evening and fired shots in the air, a first such instance of bullets being used along the LAC after a gap of 45 years.
The army said this in a statement after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) late on Monday night alleged that Indian troops crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired” warning shots near the Pangong lake.
The incident of Monday evening was considered serious as the previous instance of shots being fired at the de-facto border was in 1975.
Provisions of an agreement of 1996 and another signed in 2005 mandate the two sides not to use firearms during any confrontation.
“Both India and China are in regular touch through diplomatic and military channels to resolve the situation. This was the consensus when the two defence ministers met,” he said.
The border situation deteriorated again after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.