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China's PLA violated LAC 21 times during 19 days

The transgressions were reported between March 15 and April 2, prompting the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to alert the government.

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China's PLA violated LAC 21 times during 19 days
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As many as 21 transgressions — both land and air — by China's PLA troops in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh have been reported in 19 days, a recent government report says.

Of these, 18 transgressions took place in Ladakh alone. This comes amid high-level engagements between New Delhi and Beijing in their efforts to bury the Doklam dispute.

Most points that reported transgressions in Ladakh were in Daulat Beg Oldi, Pangang Tso (lake), Depsang and Trig Heights. The three Arunachal Pradesh incidents were reported from Asaphila and Dichu.

The transgressions were reported between March 15 and April 2, prompting the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to alert the government.

The increased Chinese activity at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) comes ahead of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to China on April 21 for a ministerial meeting on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval also travelled to China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman are also expected to visit China soon.

In Depsang, one of the most contentious locations at the LAC in Ladakh, Chinese troops came in 19 km on the Indian side on three occasions as they violated the LAC six times, according to the report. These incidents were reported on March 17, 22 and 28.

At the Pangang Tso (lake) where Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a scuffle in August last year, three transgressions were reported.

There were two instances when Chinese helicopters were observed flying. In one of the air space violations, two Chinese helicopters were seen from Chulanama II area on the Chinese side and flaying approximately 17.5 km in Indian air space, according to the report.

The other aerial transgression was reported from Thakung in Ladakh on the north bank of Pangong Lake.

There were 426 Chinese transgressions recorded in 2017, a big jump from 2016 when the number was 273.

A73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops had triggered a diplomatic row between the two countries last year. Indian troops stopped the Chinese construction of a road in Doklam -- a region under dispute between China and Bhutan. It was felt that road connectivity would give China direct access to the Siliguri corridor giving them strategic advantage in cutting off North East states and it had to be stopped because it violated the status quo agreed upon by the three countries.

Post Doklam the Indian forces increased the frequency of long-range foot patrols. Other than foot patrols, aerial reconnaissance, satellite imagery and intelligence operations are being carried out to catch every move of the Chinese and avert another Doklam-like situation.

Recently, the Chinese objected to increased patrols in Asaphila area of Arunachal Pradesh, dubbing them as a transgression attempt.

Incidentally two transgressions by Chinese have been reported in the same area that is considered strategically sensitive.

Most transgressions were reported over a fortnight and had a pattern with Chinese troops entering Indian territory between 7 am and 11 am.

The Chinese were expected to enhance their activity once the winter faded and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had earlier warned against this.

In Doklam the Chinese have moved back from the faceoff site but permanently camped in North Doklam, constructing road and helipads in the area.

TRANSGRESSIONS 

  • 18 in Ladakh. Most in Daulat Beg Oldi, Pangang Tso (lake), Depsang
  • Three others were reported from Asaphila and Dichu in AP

 

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