SRINAGAR: As the Sino-India standoff is about to complete a year; Beijing has refused to vacate Hot Springs and Gogra. The revelations came after 11 rounds of talks that have already resulted in undoing the occupation of the vast Pangong lake belt.
“A highly placed source, involved in decision-making all of 2020, told The Sunday Express that at Patrolling Point 15 and PP-17A in Hot Springs and Gogra Post, the Chinese “had agreed earlier” to pull back troops but “later refused to vacate”,” The Indian Express reported. “In the recent talks, according to the source, China said India “should be happy with what has been achieved”. At these twin points, the source told the newspaper, the current presence of Chinese troops is of “platoon strength”, down from the “company strength” earlier but “they are much inside the Indian side”.
Both of these are close to the Chang Chenmo river in the Galwan sub-sector of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. While Hot Springs is just north of the Chang Chenmo river, Gogra Post is east of the point where the river takes a hairpin bend coming southeast from Galwan Valley and turning southwest.
During the yearlong military level interventions, the two countries were able to reach a consensus that led to the withdrawal of troops from Pangong Tso lake. There, the two sides have agreed on “At temporary suspension” of patrolling by the two sides between Finger 4 and Finger 8 on the north bank.
Depsang plains continue to be dominated by the Red Army as they were even before the 2020 standoff. “In Depsang, they (the Chinese) have been coming across and blocking our patrols at a number of these patrol points,” the newspaper quoted sources saying. “Chinese troops, the source said, “come every day in their (Dongfeng) Humvees, and just block that passage”.
After the conclusion of the 11th round of discussions at the Corps Commander-level between the two armies, the Ministry of Defence said Saturday that “the two sides had a detailed exchange of views for the resolution of the remaining issues related to disengagement along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh”.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat told the Raisina Dialogue series that India was able to gather world support against Chinese incursions and remained firm in preventing a change in the status quo.
“They (China) have tried to ensure that they can change the status quo by the use of disruptive technology, without using force,” Rawat said. “As of now they have not used force. They thought that India as a nation will succumb to the pressures that they are putting on us, because of the tech advances that they have.”