Galwan clash: China talks peace but raises troop deployment by 30% since June 15 confrontation - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 23 June 2020

Galwan clash: China talks peace but raises troop deployment by 30% since June 15 confrontation

New Chinese intrusions at Depsang now present India with dual threat to Northern Ladakh

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 24th June 20

A day after a marathon, 11-hour border meeting between senior military commanders of India and China, Beijing has welcomed an agreement to “cool down the situation.”

It said it would continue holding talks “for peace and tranquility” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Describing the meeting, which took place exactly a week after a brutal clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and dozens more injured, China’s ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) spokesperson said: “This meeting showed that the two sides wish to control and alleviate the situation through dialogue and consultation.”

Beijing flatly rejected the contention of union minister General VK Singh (Retired) that more than 40 Chinese soldiers had been killed in the Ladakh face-off. “I can tell you for sure this is fake news,” said the MFA spokesperson.

Accompanying Beijing’s talk of “dialogue and consultation”, however, is a massive Chinese troop buildup along the border in Ladakh. Since the June 15 clash, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted large numbers of troops, armoured vehicles and artillery all along the LAC – from Depsang and Galwan in northern Ladakh; to Hot Springs, Pangong Tso and Chushul in central Ladakh, to Demchok and Chumar in southern Ladakh, said a well informed government source.

The Chinese buildup is especially heavy at Demchok and Chumar, where large numbers of ground troops, artillery guns and air defence batteries have been deployed on the Chinese side of the LAC.

Indian planners assess the Chinese have stepped up their forces by at least 30 per cent since June 15, along the Ladakh frontier.

In northern Ladakh, the PLA has activated the Depsang Area, north of Galwan, where both sides had faced off earlier in 2013. Indian patrols have traditionally patrolled here up to Patrolling Point (PP) 10, 11, 12 and 13. Now they are being stopped by the Chinese, who have built tracks bypassing these PPs and extending 15-17 kilometres (km) into Indian-claimed territory.

This includes advancing deeper into Indian territory at Jeevan Nullah (PP13) and on-going attempts to cross the so-called Bottleneck area on Raki Nullah (PP12).

In the Galwan Valley, the Chinese have established a camp about one km inside the Indian side (west) of the LAC near PP14, where the June 15 clash occurred. Indian patrols go up to a few hundred metres of these camps and then return to their bases at the Galwan estuary – where the river flows into the Shyok.

The Indian Army currently has no camps or posts in the Galwan River valley, with both sides having agreed to demilitarize the valley. Controversially, India has agreed to a 5-7 km deep “no-man’s land” on the Indian side of the LAC.

While Indian troops are patrolling close to PP14, Chinese patrols are visiting the heights along the Galwan River, especially those closer to the LAC.

Meanwhile, at PP15, which is about 25 km south of PP14, the Chinese have entered about two km inside the Indian side of the LAC and have constructed two tracks on Indian-claimed territory, say sources.

While there is no Chinese ingress at PP16, there confrontation continues in the Hot Springs sector, which includes PP17 (called the Gogra Heights), PP18 and PP19 (called Kongka La).

Further south, the Chinese are strengthening their defensive positions on the north bank of the Pangong Tso, having ingressed eight km from the Finger 8 area to Finger 4. 

Indian planners therefore face the worrisome prospect of a dual threat to northern Ladakh. The Chinese move towards the Galwan-Shyok river junction is a pressure point for the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road, while the PLA’s advance into the Depsang Plain at the Jeevan Nullah and Raki Nullah could choke India’s access to Karakoram Pass at two more points. 


  1. It is difficult to believe your information. Your claims have never been verified successfully in the past about Chinese encroachment. This reads more like fear mongering than actual information/ situation on the ground.

    1. Actually I found him more reliable and precise than the news available to us,
      In one of the recent tv discussion, son of military personnel rejected the info. provided by him without verification saying govt.version is different.
      I'm amazed what reporting and news we are getting.
      When one die one must die holding truth otherwise this death is murder.


    In the past the Chinese broadly stuck to the LAC of Nov. 7, 1959 and the Indians stuck to the LAC of Sept. 8, 1962. China has consistently argued the territory between the two LACs was “unjustly occupied by India. The Chinese consistent position was, that it will not to enter the 20-kilometer zone from the 1959 LAC (from which it withdrew in 1962) if India would refrain from entering as well. But India did not and sent petrols over the years to assert sovereignty.
    If one researches the building of infrastructure by India, in this 20km zone in the past few years, India has drastically changed the status quo and the Chinese are determined this has got to be stopped.

    Broadsword will recall that Premier Zhou Enlai had hoped to trade Indian sovereignty of the eastern section Arunachal for Chinese sovereignty of the western section Akshai Chin, this was first rejected by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This offer is now off the table.

    Beijing is in addition annoyed with India for it perceives repeated hostile actions, such as aligning with America to undermine Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean region. It feels India cannot be trusted as a fried and neighbour and will stab China in the back. Trust was eroded due to the policies of the Indian Government, which has not been non aligned and neutral.

    The bifurcation of Kashmir and the creation of the Ladakh Union Territory included Aksai Chin and was asserted by Amit Shah. This is an area vital to Chinese control of its frontiers in Tibet and Xinjiang,
    The Indian media did not report the vehement protest by the Chinese Foreign Ministry at the time of the division of J&K and the creation of the Union territory. The Indian public was not informed of the anger at the bifurcation of what China claims is a disputed area.

    The current crisis is the direct result of China reacting to Indian “ treachery “ by its “nibbling” over the decade into territories in Ladakh which China sees as off-limits to India and the building of infrastructure right up to this buffer zone (and at times we’ll within it) between the two perceptions.

    OPTIONS FOR INDIA: The Chinese now occupy what India sees as its own territory , either we have a localised war to dislodge them, which we may lose, or accept the new reality. India’s DBO project has flopped.
    The second option is for both sides to demilitarise and remove infrastructure from the 20km disputed Zone, this is why a buffer is important, a 20km no mans land will be the best solution. Else India will spend considerable resources and troops protecting barren mountains

  3. Ajai Sukhla believes Chinese MFA but not erstwhile Army chief and current Union Minister V.K.Singh regarding the death count of chinese army.What ISIS source a false image which has no proof.

  4. Ajai Sukhla you always indulge in concocted stories.

  5. "The Chinese move towards the Galwan-Shyok river junction is a pressure point for the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road, while the PLA’s advance into the Depsang Plain at the Jeevan Nullah and Raki Nullah could choke India’s access to Karakoram Pass at two more points."
    "India's access to Karakoram Pass"!
    Did we indeed aim to gain access to the Karakoram Pass within Chinese occupied territory. If so, then establishing an all weather road connecting Darbuk-Shyok to DBO was 'the DS solution' strategic move as this would give our troops a superior, dependable axis from Ladakh to DBO, the forward base for accessing Karakoram Pass. The alternate Khardung La (pass) axis [traversing 5,360 m elevation] is not equally dependable, nor available Oct to May.
    This begs the question as to what led the sector commander in Leh, and his general staff, to neglect securing the heights overlooking the road. To have an aim, a strategy without tactics to achieve the strategic aim is not how the general staff appreciation algorithm is taught at DSSC Wellington.
    Now that China's military has occupied the heights and Pangong Tso [lake] this puts paid to any tactical plans, operations. The road can at best be used for administrative logistics, viz. to support the brigade at DBO.
    It would have been tactical, prudent to desist from publicising the upgrading of DBO, the successful landing, take off by C-130 super hercules. Quietly going about our business is the 'military way', scorning limca book of record achievements, event management and photo ops.

  6. Hates off to you, you are frankly exposing chines incursion in Ladakh modi govt should take serious note of it and take necessary steps to save Ladakh from Chinese aggression.
    ~Pratapbhanu sharma

  7. It is entirely irrational for Indian people to boycott Chinese goods.
    You are in bed with Pakistan Terrorists , kill indian soldiers and want indian business?
    #India must facilitate and support a Military alliance in the Pacific Ocean { Quadrilateral Security Dialogue } as long as a military alliance exists between #Pakistan & #China
    A country the size of #China can ill-afford to be narrowly tactical in its foreign and security policy decision making.
    Huawei should be banned from Indian 5G Market until China solves its border row with India

  8. Thank you for informing us so well.🤗

  9. "At the minimum, a mutual withdrawal will de-escalate the current tension. Understanding that both sides will return to change the status quo and improve their position, Beijing is stringing New Delhi along, bogging it down, and forcing it to eventually “accept reality,” and make compromises on the border demarcation. The trick for Beijing is to maintain the struggle on the ground without triggering a war, of course. It’s a long process of friction and attrition. The tactical objective of returning to the occupation line by the end of the 1962 war could be one move to inflate China’s negotiation position and force India to accept the fait accompli."

  10. Thank you very much for your valuable message sir.


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