China and India have reinforced their troops around Galwan river and Pangong Tso lake, the two areas where they used to carry out border patrol. It is learnt that Chinese side has erected a sizeable number of tents in the Galwan Valley area following which India is keeping a hawk-eye vigil there. A write-up in China’s official state-run Global Times tabloid said that Chinese troops have bolstered their border control measures in the Galwan Valley in the Aksai Chin region.
The report said this has been done following what it termed as India’s recent, illegal construction of defence facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region. Atually, the area around Galwan river has been a point of friction between the two sides for over six decades. They had a showdown over it in 1962 as well.
It is learnt that additional troops have also been rushed to several areas in northern Sikkim as part of their aggressive posturing in guarding the disputed border. On May 5, around 250 Indian and Chinese army personnel clashed with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to stone-pelting in the Pangong Tso lake area in which soldiers from both sides sustained injuries.
In a separate incident, nearly 150 Indian and Chinese military personnel were engaged in a face-off near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector on May 9. At least 10 soldiers from both sides sustained injuries in the incident, according to the sources. Neither the Army nor the Ministry of External Affairs commented on the escalating tension between the two armies.
In its reaction to the two face-offs, the Ministry of External Affairs last week said it remained committed to maintaining peace and tranquility along the border with China, noting that such incidents could have been avoided if there was a common perception about the frontier.
The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 which even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries.