Chinese troops enter Ladakh, burn Indian tents


NEW DELHI: Just weeks after India and China discussed their unresolved border issue during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first one-on-one meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit at Fortaleza in Brazil, Chinese soldiers have transgressed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) yet again. On 22 July, Chinese troops reportedly entered Indian territory in the Demchok sector of Ladakh and vandalised tents set up by Indian shepherds there. 

Demchok is in Indian territory but the Chinese too covet it due to differing perceptions of the LAC. In a separate incident, an Indian patrolling team found that Chinese graziers had pitched tents at another location in the same sector inside Indian territory around the same time. The graziers removed the tents and moved back after the issue was discussed at a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) between commanders of the two armies. 

Hindustan Times had earlier reported that, two vehicles carrying the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troopers transgressed across the LAC in Demchok sector on July 15, engaging in a face-off with the Indian Army. The face-off ended after both sides indulged in banner drills reminding the other about transgression into each other’s territory.

New Delhi and Beijing had inked a new border pact last year to ensure peace and stability along the LAC but the cycle of transgressions continues.

The Asian Age reports that according to defence sources, such incidents occur often at Demchok since it is one area in the Ladakh sector where both Indian and Chinese troops are extremely vigilant and sensitive about any structures being raised by the other side. In fact, Demchok was identified as one of the locations along the LAC in the Ladakh sector as emergency meeting points for representatives of both the Armies to meet to ensure maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the border.

According to the report, the Indian Army is already beefing up its defence preparedness in both the northern and eastern sectors facing China, with the presence of battle tanks in both Ladakh and North Sikkim. India and China had earlier inked a Border Defence Co-operation Agreement (BDCA) that seeks to avoid any conflagration between the two militaries on the LAC. India has been worried over aggressive Chinese military patrolling near the LAC and Chinese transgressions have been occurring since the two sides have different perceptions of the LAC demarcation. The LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries in parts of the northern and eastern sectors.

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