STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: Indian and Chinese armies were moving in heavy equipment and weaponry including artillery guns and combat vehicles to their rear bases close to the disputed areas in eastern Ladakh as the two militaries remained engaged in a bitter standoff along the troubled border for over 25 days, military sources said on Sunday. The enhancement of combat capability by the two armies in the region came even as both the countries continued their efforts to resolve the dispute through talks at military and diplomatic levels.
No violence between troops: Army New Delhi: The Indian Army on Sunday said no violence is taking place between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh currently, after a video emerged on the social media purportedly showing clashes between the two sides. “The contents of the video being circulated are not authenticated. Attempt to link it with the situation on the northern borders is malafide. Currently no violence is happening,” the Army said in a statement. However, the Army did not clarify whether it was a video of earlier clashes. The Army said differences between the two sides are being addressed through interaction between military commanders following established protocols on management of border. The undated video purportedly shows clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh. Unverified images showing injuries to Indian soldiers also emerged on the social media. “Differences are being addressed through interaction between military commanders, guided by established protocols on management of borders between the two countries,” the Army said. “We strongly condemn attempts to sensationalise issues impacting national security. The media is requested not to air visuals that are likely to vitiate the current situation on the borders,” it added. Troops of India and China have been engaged in a major standoff for over three weeks in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh, in what is turning out to be the biggest confrontation between the two countries after the Doklam episode in 2017.
The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment, the sources said.
Diplomatic, military talks on to resolve border row with China: ShahNew Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said diplomatic and military-level dialogues are going on with China on the current border row and he was hopeful that the issue will be resolved. Also, in an obvious warning to Pakistan, Shah said India will not tolerate any breach of its borders and befitting replies will be given to such moves. “Diplomatic and military level dialogues are currently going on and I believe the issue will be resolved,” he told the ‘Republic Bharat’ TV in an interview. Shah was replying to a question about the ongoing border row with China in Ladakh and some other areas and circulation of videos and pictures of clashes between personnel of the Indian Army and the PLA of China. The home minister said the Narendra Modi government would not allow any dilution of its international borders and would take all steps to protect the country’s sovereignty. “No one should have any doubt about that. Asked about the repeated Pakistani attempts to breach the border, Shah said India has never adopted an expansionist policy, but at the same time it would not tolerate any violation of its borders. “If someone tries to do that, we will give a befitting reply. It is our duty and responsibility,” he said.
The Indian Army has also been moving in additional troops as well as equipment and weapons like artillery guns to aggressively match up to the Chinese build-up, they said, adding that India will not relent till status quo is restored in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and a number of other areas. The Indian Air Force has been keeping a strict aerial surveillance in the disputed region. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel entered into the Indian side of the de-facto border earlier this month and have been camping in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley since then. The Indian Army fiercely objected to the transgressions by the Chinese troops and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquility in the area. The Chinese Army has ramped up their presence in Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie too — the two sensitive areas with a history of skirmishes involving the two sides. The Chinese army is learnt to have deployed around 2,500 troops in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley besides gradually enhancing temporary infrastructure and weaponry. However, there is no official figure about the numbers. Sources said satellite images have captured significant ramping up of defence infrastructure by China on its side of the de-facto border including construction activities at a military airbase around 180 kms from the Pangong Tso area. The assessment by the Indian Army is that the build up is aimed at putting pressure on India. “We are well aware of the Chinese ploy. The Indian Army is firm on its stand that we are not going to accept anything less than restoration of status quo in the area,” said a senior military official. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said bilateral talks were on at military and diplomatic levels with China to resolve the row. The trigger for the face-off was China’s stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley. The sources said China was also laying a road in the Finger area which is not acceptable to India. The sources said military reinforcements including troops, vehicles and artillery guns were sent to eastern Ladakh by the Indian Army to shore up its presence in the areas where Chinese soldiers were resorting to aggressive posturing. The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage”. However, the standoff continued. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
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