Satellite images show Chinese infrastructure in Galwan, Depsang; no official reaction so far
Even as the two sides have agreed to disengage from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh after the bloody clash killing 20 Indian Army personnel, China is continuing with its military build-up in Galwan valley and Depsang. They are part of the eastern Ladakh region.
While Galwan valley witnessed the skirmish on June 15, Depsang saw a face-off for more than three weeks in 2013. The two armies then pulled back after intense diplomatic and military level talks.
The latest satellite images clearly indicate that the Chinese have built infrastructure, including black top roads and culverts on the river in the Galwan valley inside the Indian region thereby ringing alarm bells. However, there was no official reaction to these developments so far.
Amid all these developments, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday visited some forward areas in Ladakh. He also gave commendation certificates to some of the soldiers who fought back the Chinese in the free for all. The Army chief also reviewed the situation on ground with his commanders.
On the fresh Chinese build up, the satellite images showed the Chinese have re-erected an army post in the Galwan valley which was removed by the Indians on June 15. This temporary structure is very close to Patrolling Point 14. When the month long face-offs started in early May, Galwan valley was one of the sites besides Pangong Tso (lake), Gogra and Hot Springs. When the Corps Commanders met on June 6, the two sides decided to mutually pull back their troops in a gradual manner from the confrontation points.
In fact, the troops had started moving back from the Galwan valley but the Chinese came back on June 15 leading to the brawl.
Apart from fresh presence of the Chinese inside the Indian region in the Galwan valley, the satellite images have shown the massive Chinese build up on its side of the LAC in the Depsang valley in northern most part of the LAC.
It is close to the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airfield and the 250-km long Shyok-DBO road running parallel to the LAC. This strategic road gives the Indian forces advantage of quickly deployment in case of any emergency.
Naravane’s two-day visit to forward areas in Ladakh beginning Tuesday came a day after the Corps Commanders level talks between India and China where the two sides arrived at a “mutual consensus” to disengage from several standoff points along the LAC.
There is still no clarity on the timeline of the planned phased disengagement from all the “all friction areas” in Eastern Ladakh by the two armies. While the modalities for this were agreed between the Corps Commanders, several local commander level talks are scheduled to take forward the disengagement on the ground at various locations.
The main problem area is Pangong lake, where the Chinese have come three to four km inside the LAC on the Indian side, and dug in at ‘Finger 4’. Some more rounds of talks will take place to resolve it, sources said.
Thursday, 25 June 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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