China objects to Indian installations near LAC

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Dismantling set as precondition for troops withdrawal

Dismantling of certain Indian military installations near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh remains a key precondition for troop withdrawal, which China spelt out to Indian authorities in the second flag meeting earlier this week.

Indian authorities kept the nature of those facilities under wraps giving rise to suspicion that these installations were not mere bunkers and hutments, which the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police created for troops.

Though there is no confirmation from the government, the objectionable facilities could be Indian surveillance equipment.

Any decision on removing the controversial structures would be taken only after a review is carried out to analyse the utility of these structures, sources said.

Raki Nalla, the place where the Chinese are now camping, is 30 km south of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), a World War II airstrip, which was reactivated by the Indian Air Force for transport flight operations in 2008.

Two more advanced landing grounds south of DBO — Fukche and Nyoma — were made operational in the last five years. The IAF plans to start flying fighter aircraft from Nyoma.
Besides, India is constructing 304 roads spanning more than 2,200 km in Jammu and Kashmir, a large number of which are being built on the eastern side to improve access to the Sino-Indian border.

Other withdrawal conditions given out by Chinese commanders to their Indian counterparts are reduced helicopter flights by the Indian Army and Air Force and less aggressive patrolling along the border.

Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Thursday discussed the Chinese intrusion issue with Defence Minister A K Antony.

The three army corps guarding the Sino-Indian border – 14 Corps in Leh (J&K), 3 Corps in Rangapahar (Nagaland) and 4 Corps in Tezpur (Assam) – have been put on alert.

The sources said 30 odd Chinese troops who were staying in tents in Ladakh for the last 10 days have come well prepared for a prolonged stay as they carried enough supply to last in the mountainous terrain in the sub-zero temperature.

The Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police have not seen any supply reinforcement for the Chinese since April 15, when they crossed over 18 km inside Indian territory and set up the tents. The nearest arterial road in the Chinese side is about 100 km away.

Sources said it was a tactical move on the part of the Chinese, who don’t want to get into a conflict situation. A third flag meeting between the commanders of two sides is a “possibility” at the moment, but no dates have been finalised.

The crux of the problem is “difference of perception” about the border in the absence of any demarcation. Going by the Chinese version, they are within their perceived boundary, which, according to Indian perception, falls inside the Indian territory. It is a barren area where not a single blade of grass grows.


Defence Minister A K Antony today said ne

Negotiations on to solve Chinese incursion issue: Antonygotiations and consultations are on at various levels to find a peaceful solution to the Chinese incursion issue in Ladakh.

His comments came a day after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid asserted in Almaty in Kazhakistan that India was "not a pushover" and that the issue of Chinese incursion in Ladakh would be resolved before he visits Beijing on May 9.

"Negotiations and consultations are going on at various levels to find out a peaceful solution to Chinese incursion issue," Antony told reporters outside Parliament House.

The Defence Minister was yesterday briefed by Army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who reviewed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Ladakh area with military commanders in the Northern Command.

The Army has given its inputs to the Government and the National Security Advisor-headed China Study Group, which is handling the present situation in Ladakh.
The Army has also given various options to the Government on the issue including the aggressive use of military to handle the present situation.

All the options suggested to the China Study Group are being looked at carefully and other stakeholders in the situation have also given their inputs.

The Army had rushed its troops from the 5 Ladakh Scouts battalion to the DBO area and they are camping there. The force is also considering the option of dispatching additional troops if the need arises.

On April 15, a platoon-strength contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had come 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector and established a tented post there.

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