Before de-Escalation, China Asks India to Vacate Key Heights in Eastern Ladakh; Army Demands LAC Roadmap First


A banner erected by the Indian Army near Pangong Tso lake near the India China border in Ladakh.A banner erected by the Indian Army near Pangong Tso lake near the India China border in Ladakh. 

New Delhi: Adamant China does not seem to budge from its own positions in the eastern Ladakh region which it has illegally taken over in the past few months, but demands India to vacate strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake prior to de-escalation talks on the Line of Actual Control, top Army officials have said.

The belligerent Chinese side reportedly told India during the last Corps Commander-level talks that it won’t discuss disengagement as long as India doesn’t vacate the positions. Both countries are in a war-like situation after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army continuously provoked Indian Army troops since April this year.

The PLA troops are hell-bent on first resolving the matter on the south bank where the Indian Army is in a tactically strong position, but India has demanded a roadmap for de-escalation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh to be first drawn out.

“Why should discussions be restricted to one or two places when there is a massive build-up all across the LAC,” news agency IANS quoted a top Indian Army officer as saying. India had stated during the talks that all friction areas, such as Depsang, should be points of discussion during the disengagement talks along the LAC.

Giving China a taste of its own medicine, India occupied crucial elevations on the south bank of the Pangong lake, such as Rechin La, Rezang La, and Mukpari, which were unmanned till the faceoff began.

This strategic move, along with others peaks the Indian Army controls, allows us to dominate the Spanggur Gap which is under the Chinese control, along with the Moldo garrison on the other side.

The move ticked off the PLA that has continued to make provocations and illegal inroads into Indian territory, so much so that shots were fired along the LAC after decades.

India altered the rules of engagement with China after the horrific Galwan Valley clash on the intervening night of June 15-16 in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.