Skip to main content

800 metres: Finally a figure on what Chinese Army claims in Galwan


Source -- India Today

n excerpts from minutes of one of the meetings between the two sides, India Today can now confirm that China has been explicitly staking claim to territory up to 800 metres into the Indian side from Patrol Point 14.



What the Chinese have begun articulating as their claim since April this year is 800 metres from what was agreed upon 61 years ago.


Indian and Chinese Army positions pulled back nominally this weekend from the Galwan Valley's blood-soaked Patrol Point 14 to create a 'no man's land' buffer zone, clarity has emerged of just how much of the narrow river valley China has officially claimed during the current standoff. In excerpts from minutes of one of the meetings between the two sides, India Today can now confirm that China has been explicitly staking claim to territory up to 800 metres into the Indian side from Patrol Point 14.

Amidst larger claims over the 'entire' Galwan Valley by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the 800-metre claim was articulated first at a battalion-level meeting in April this year after India began construction of a bridge near the confluence of the Galwan and Shyok rivers. The figure also provides a measurable backdrop to the events that have followed, described in India Today's most detailed account of the June 15 bloodshed.

The limited disengagement visible in the Galwan Valley is not being seen as a milestone by any stretch, nor a reason for the Indian Army to tactically exhale. The Army is sharply aware of history that played out in this very sector over 61 years ago.

In 1959, India and China had mutually agreed to the area until Patrol Point 14, with very little patrolling and not a single face-off for years. What the Chinese have begun articulating as their claim since April this year is 800 metres from what was agreed upon 61 years ago.

Photo via Twitter

In the context of the limited disengagement at Galwan, a newspaper banner headline from 1962 has gone viral on social media. The screaming headline says 'Chinese Troops Withdraw From Galwan Post', with a strap line claiming that 'DELHI WARNING HAS TELLING EFFECT'. If nothing else, it has come to serve as a visible caution against any celebration of an ongoing de-escalation, especially when it comes to a country with the established strategic duplicity of the People's Republic.

91 days after the banner headline, the 1962 war broke out, and the Galwan Valley, among much else, was overrun by Chinese troops. The India of 2020 is vastly different, and that's perhaps why despite a lengthy statement from the External Affairs Ministry threads being linked to the efforts of an active diplomatic 'back channel', the Army, if anything, has heightened its guard.

While the media gaze has remained largely fixed on the Ladakh sector, the Army's unwillingness to see the 'disengagement' steps as anything substantive yet is also borne out from Chinese activities elsewhere. Repeated collisions with the Indian Army in north Sikkim, particularly Naku La across May and June point to a concerted effort to disregard agreements and established protocols, and 'create facts on the ground'.

The Nepal friction is only the latest, and particularly emotive, manifestation of China's highly organised provocation machinery.

As India Today understands it, this is one of the key reasons why, in the absence of more sustained disengagement and verification, the Army regards token actions as 'four steps forward, two steps back'. That, incidentally, is precisely how the Army is seeing the Pangong Tso situation play out.

While a small number of Chinese positions have withdrawn from the Finger 4 ridge line, the fact that a 'pullback' could be to Finger 5 still makes this a serious situation, but gives the Chinese the opportunity to claim they have de-escalated. In the Army's appreciation, this is precisely what is meant by changing the status quo.

With India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Chinese Foreign Minister speaking on the phone, and the government acknowledging the weekend engagement in its most lengthy statement on the standoff since it began two months ago, the next steps are crucial. In the foreseeable future are more meetings under the aegis of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) and between military officers on both sides.

But with the Army viewing the eastern Ladakh situation as nothing less than the long haul, there are already rumblings within the ranks of whether the current standoff will yield a new state of play on the China border, or simply a return to business as usual once Chinese deployments have returned to 'satisfactory' levels at the four friction points.

The 3.2-km wide buffer zone created at the Galwan Valley, straddling Patrol Point 14, may be a temporary measure, but is being regarded within the Army as a mechanism that should be looked at with seriousness as a key element in a broader set of measures. And that brings us to one of the key rumblings within the Army since the June 15 bloodshed.

India Today has learnt that in the last 3 weeks, while morale remains very high, lower cadres and young officers of the Army have openly raised the issue with their superiors over whether the Indian Army, a force trained for border defence at all costs, should be bogged down with the task of border management and attendant protocols.

An increasing number believe the foreseeable endgame to the current standoff in eastern Ladakh should at least be a situation where, in the absence of a larger solution to the border dispute, buffer zones are 'managed' by agencies like the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) with the Army providing defence from depth. It remains to be seen whether the opinions of the younger cadres will filter up the chain and manifest in the policy considerations.

Most Army personnel manning border posts weren't born the last time blood was spilled between India and China 45 years ago. The incident of 15 June 2020 at Galwan -- and the first visible pullback yesterday -- has therefore raised distinct questions in the minds of soldiers over why decades of diplomacy after Independence have failed to settle the border issue.

And most importantly, why there remains no real promise of any kind yet, that the events of May-June 2020 will not recur in Ladakh or beyond.



Comments

LATEST UPDATE

Enemy at the gates, so don’t cry wolf

Source -- Sunday Guardian









Rinderpest is also more commonly known as the “foot and mouth” disease and in the past, it has swept through the subcontinent with catastrophic results. In the last ten-odd days since the tragic loss of 20 Indian soldiers in the icy region of the Galwan Valley to Chinese machinations, one can only watch in mind-numbing amazement as many of our countrymen, some of whom have once donned the uniform and served, have suddenly taken leave of their senses.Add to this the mushrooming crop of self-styled defence experts and analysts. Just as the Pakistanis at Longewala in 1971 were intercepted, radioing for help as IAF Hawker Hunters decimated their tanks, “ek jata hai toh ek aata hai aur bees-bees minute ooper nachta hai” (as one goes, the other comes and dances around above us for 20 to 40 minutes) we watch equally helplessly as we evolve into a country of professional blabber mouths. From a channel even describing the intake of a certain type of fighter aircraft th…

INDIA CHINA CLASH UPDATE, Indian army to get ammunition from US for M777 Howitzers with EMERGENCY FUND worth 500 CR

Source -- India Today

Govt granted armed forces emergency financial powers for weapons for India-China conflict, the Army has now ordered ammunition for M777 Howitzer guns from the US. To use in high hills for heavy damage.

“There is a plan to place orders for more rounds of the Excalibur ammunition from the US under the Vice-Chief financial powers,” defence sources told Aajtak and India Today TV.

The plan is to upgrade the strength of Army battalions deployed with the M-777 guns in the forward areas in the Eastern Ladakh sector, they said.India had first placed an order for the Excalibur ammunition in May-June last year after the Balakot operations.The Excalibur ammunition has more range and better accuracy that makes it lethal can hit targets at 40-50 km depending on the artillery gun used.Ready for an all-out conflict with China in view of the ongoing dispute at the border, the Narendra modi governement had granted bing finacial power this week to the defence forces under which they c…

INDIA-CHINA CLASH UPDATES (LAC) : Diplomatic talks on, but government skeptical about china intentions

India and china on table of negotiations for resolving the LAC issue between both the countries at Galwan and Pangong Tso area which is recently converted into a conflict resulting in death of 20 Indian soldiers and approx 45 to 50 Chinese soldiers(china not accepted it officially). But American agency and foreign minister of India acknowledged it on the basis of sources.






Even after multiple rounds of talk Indian Army and Govt is skeptical about the Chinese intentions because historically they are the liar and no one in the world can rely on there wordings. Also in current scenario they have proved it few days back they got agreed to remove the army and reduce their strength from PP14 at Galwan Valley near LAC but that was not followed on ground when our soldiers went to talk about this deescalation they attacked us back and this resulted in killing of their 45 soldiers and 20 of our soldier got martyred in this.  Again we had started talks again they promised to Deescalate the things…