China links troop pull back with Indian withdrawal from Kailash Range - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

Home Top Ad


Tuesday 22 September 2020

China links troop pull back with Indian withdrawal from Kailash Range

Joint statement issued after talks makes no mention of "troop pull back" or "status quo ante"


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 23rd Sept 20


Late on Tuesday evening, a full day after the conclusion of the 6th round of talks between Indian and Chinese military commanders, the two sides issued a joint statement that agreed to “earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any action that might complicate the situation.”


Notably, the statement made no mention of any of India’s core concerns: a troop pull-back by China and a reversion to the status quo ante of April.


Senior government sources say that, during Monday’s talks, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) hardened its stance, conveying to the Indian Army that it must vacate 5-6 tactically dominating heights it occupied south of the Pangong Tso lake. Only after that would the PLA consider any further withdrawal from areas that the Chinese have occupied.


On August 30, after the PLA began expanding its territorial hold south of the Pangong Tso, the Indian Army occupied “blocking positions” on the Kailash Range on Aug 30, in its first offensive action since the PLA trespassed across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in May.


These mountaintops are strung out, north-to-south, on the Kailash Range. They include the tactically vital Point 5167, Bump, Magar Hill, Rezang La, Reching La and Mukhpari.


By occupying these features, the Indian Army can observe Chinese activities across Pangong Lake, in the Spanggur Gap and on PLA-held features such as Helmet and Black Top. Indian control of these heights makes it difficult for the PLA to consider any westward advance into the India-held Chushul Bowl.


Indian military officers in Monday’s talks, including the outgoing commander of the Leh corps, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, and his designated successor, Lieutenant General PGK Menon, flatly refused to withdraw from their advantageous positions, pointing out that these heights were all on territory that India had traditionally controlled and patrolled.


The Indian delegation, which also included the Ministry of External Affairs’ official in charge of the China desk, demanded the PLA withdraw from points of intrusion such as Pangong Tso, Gogra-Hot Springs and the approaches to Chushul. It is unclear whether the Indian side has also demanded a Chinese withdrawal from Depsang, where PLA troops have penetrated about 15 kilometres into India – the deepest point of intrusion.


Given this disagreement, the PLA delegation led by the South Xinjiang Military District chief, Major General Liu Lin, declined to discuss any pull back by Chinese troops.


With that, there remains little to show for the apparent consensus between the two foreign ministers – S Jaishankar and Wang Yi – who met in Moscow on September 10. In a five-point joint statement they agreed “the current situation in the border areas is not in the interests of either side… [and] that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.”


Instead of disengagement, the two sides have deployed an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 soldiers each along the LAC. 


In the north, in the Depsang area, Indian planners say there are about 5,000 soldiers on the Indian side of the LAC, backed by another 5,000 on the Chinese side, equipped with tanks and air defence guns. Over time, the PLA has built roads and tracks to supply the troops that have crossed the LAC.


To the south of Depsang, the PLA has pulled out of the Galwan River valley but remains poised on the LAC with an estimated 8,000-9,000 soldiers along India’s Patrolling Point (PP) 14, PP 15, PP-17 and PP-17A (Gogra Post). 


Another 2,000-3,000 Chinese soldiers are deployed across the LAC from PP-18 to PP-23 in the Ane Le area.


South of Ane La, on the north bank of Pangong Tso, where the PLA has pushed the LAC westwards by about eight kilometres, Indian officials estimate there are about 2,500 Chinese soldiers on the north bank and another 10,000 on the south bank, facing off against Indian soldiers on the Ladakh Range.


Finally, there is a major build up of about 250 tanks and other armoured vehicles in the Spanggur Lake area.


In a worrying development for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian planners are evaluating the veracity of reports that the PLA has already deployed a regiment of state-of-the-art S-400 air defence missiles opposite the Chumar area; and another regiment is being moved into the Depsang sector.


The Russian S-400 missile regiments, which can accurately strike Indian aircraft at ranges out to 400 kilometres, would allow the PLA to substantially neutralize the IAF’s advantage in air power.


The joint statement left the path for dialogue open, mentioning that the two sides agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meetings as soon as possible.” No date has been fixed for the talks.


  1. If it comes to that IAF needs to be pressed into action, isn't it obvious that the S400 would first be needed to be taken out by brahmos and then IAF moved into action ? I hope air planners and military planners are already of that view

  2. One correction meeting date of ministers September 10

  3. La parole a été donné à l’homme pour déguiser sa pensée. the statement by the minister in parliament on taking back aksai chin, coupled with the government's publicity on landing heavy lift transport aircraft at the landing grounds at DBO, the availability of the completed highway to DBO, and that DBO would be the tactical forward base for interdicting the karakoram pass and onward to the aksai chin highway were strategic plans that should have remained as strategic plans. for public consumption the forward air base at DBO, as well as the completed highway could have remained as logistical arrangements to support the brigade located at DBO. much like the string of pearls of chinese partnership [build, operate, transfer -BOT] ports along the indian ocean littorals are not publicised as a potential garotte although everybody knows that this is china's game plan. would a chess player explain the gambit the player has in mind, is building up to. Speech was given to man to conceal his thoughts - Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomatist. the bhagat, henderson-brooks formal investigation report had almost 60 years ago deplored the desire for publicity at raisina hill and informing the press on decisions taken at the cabinet committee for security. unfortunately this disease continues - only about ten days ago according to a story in the south china morning post a former director general of infantry at army headquarters was quoted as having told that chinese newspaper how strong and impregnable our forces are now that our tibetan troops that make up the secretive, hithertofore unpublicised SSF have taken positions on the crests of the kailash range - helmet, black top etc.

  4. So what did they talk for 15 hours? Only agreeing on not sending further troop? These things could have been covered in half hour, particularly when each side was not willing to change their instance. Also perhaps both has already sent adequate troops in the theater. So they agreed on what they already don't intend to do.
    I guess there is something else cooking-up.

  5. All of a sudden, Rafale is no longer a “game changer” anymore, is it?

  6. China is playing India like a flute. The Chinese demands are laughable: China continues to add air defense systems, armour and EW systems along the LAC, is building roads and new posts, carrying out provocative patrols (like the one on Sep 7-8 with Gundai wielding henchmen) all the while asking India to deescalate, withdraw troops, give up their advantageous positions and stop construction activity along LAC.
    Any General worth his salt would tell you that these demands are point blank a call to war.
    Yet India is doing nothing, apparently smitten by the Chinese offer on talks where China does not yield an inch from their demands while asking of outrageous things from the Indian side.

    India is making a fool of itself by participating in these talks, now in their 7th round. We are dealing with a country that has survived by lying,backstabbing, and sucker punching others, can we really expect that they have changed and that their talks are anything but lies?
    All evidence is to the contrary. The Chinese plan is that they cross the LAC, establish themselves, and then claim that the Indian side is trespassing on Chinese territory!
    What's worse, is that instead of simoly calling China out and doing what need to be done - military action to vacate all area occupied by china - India continues to embarras itself across the world by allowing China to now claim for the 6th time that India is the aggressor, all the while saying nothing to the Chinese.
    It is a frustrating situation.

  7. Apparently both sides have agreed to maintain the status quo and forget about status quo ante. This will ensure peace. India will of course keep spending money A la mode de Siachin. The money of course be paid by the common man the public which would be happy to go to bed hungry dreaming sweet dreams about Brahmos and Hypersonic missiles.

  8. China has bad intentions.
    India is unable to read them and their intentions, why r they doing it at this juncture?
    Do they find dt india is weak at present or our leadership weak?
    We hv a majority govt at present in both houses.

  9. NSR says --

    What a fallacious and scared and demoralizing stories that you have been writing..

    Do you even know that India has its own land based Brahmos and IAF SU-30MKI based Brahmos NG missiles...

    At the outbreak of war, planners know where a dozen of PLA phased array antennas and S-400 & S-300 &HQ-9 missile systems are located ...
    They will ferret out their locations using various tactics which includes SU-30MKIs and Rafales, drones, and decoys, etc
    After pin pointing their locations,, they will launch a massive attacks to neutralize them so IAF Boys and now Girls too will have their chance to do what they are trained to do ...

    You are too old to change and write objectively anymore...

  10. A simple strategy of stemming the breach at its smallest leak, couldn’t be understood by our Military. Now the breach is like a floodgate opened. The build up itself is so much that it’s sending a strong wave of Psy Ops. A simple case of operational paralysis at the top brass. Occupying Kailash Ridge is first offensive manoeuvre which came rather too late. बहुत देर करदी मेहरबाँ आते आते।

  11. This what happens when idiots in MoD delay defence acquisitions, we are naked when faced with aggressor.
    India needs to thank Modi , Parriker, Jaitley & Nirmala seetharaman for pushing through Long delayed deals in artillery , fighters , even stocking adequate ammunition and others.
    Best was Rafale, inspite politics (including so called professionals like you !).

    Now they are pushing for make India !

  12. Well said we have raffel which will show china there place

  13. China has all sorts of SAM's built up, which Indian planners (with the help of US spy satellites) are keeping a very close eye on. There is lot going on behind the scene's,such as India deploying some very imp weaponry (not in public knowledge of-course) from Israel and France in the recent weeks. Keep in mind if the war breaks out IAF are smart enough to take out enemy defenses with Stand - OFF or EW weapons before mounting a full blow attack..fighters will fly across all different directions to hit well selected targets. China has a lot to loose now. To move back, they will need a solid excuse, given that wanted to teach India a lesson but fighting a war is also a not a easy decision too as now, Indian army has built solid defenses and war now will cost China a fair bit too. Also having 2 American aircraft carriers along with their very capable warships in south China Sea has complicated things for them. China is not sure why American's have them there, are they going to use them to support India (they already mapping China on LAC with India) or will they use them to hit the islands once China's is warring India. China's next move can spell disaster for them hence China is thinking whether a war with India is a good idea or taking Taiwan to save face or just simply bite the bullet and step back on all fronts. Question is.. is it too late to step back for China now.


Recent Posts

Page 1 of 10412345...104Next >>Last