Army chief MM Naravane
Army chief General MM Naravane visits forward locations in eastern Ladakh | Photo by Special Arrangement

New Delhi: With the harsh winter settling in, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane Wednesday visited the frontline posts in eastern Ladakh, including the ones at Rechin La in the southern bank of Pangong Tso, where the Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a stand-off, just 200-300 metres apart.

Army officers said Gen. Naravane is on a day-long visit to the Leh-based 14 Corps, also known as the ‘Fire and Fury’ Corps, which takes care of the borders with China in the northern sector.

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The officers said the Army chief undertook a first-hand assessment of the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and interacted with local commanders and troops.

One of his focus areas was habitat of troops on the frontline of defences at Rechin La. The habitat has been a major logistical challenge for the Indian Army but they have largely overcome it, even though sources maintain that certain issues still remain.

The Army chief, who was accompanied by the new Corps Commander Lt Gen. P.G.K. Menon, also visited the forward base Tara in eastern Ladakh. Army officials said the chief distributed sweets and cakes for Christmas to keep up the morale of the soldiers.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the Army chief visited most forward posts at Rechin La. The Chinese troops are stationed just 200-300 metres away from the post, the sources said.

They added that the Army chief was given a detailed briefing on the security situation by the top Commanders and those heading specialised units posted at the location.

‘No major breakthrough expected’

The sources said that no major breakthrough is expected in the coming weeks, and no dates for the military talks have been finalised.

“The dates are not fixed yet. No major breakthrough is expected,” a source said, when asked whether the Army chief’s visit meant that things could loosen up a bit.

The last round of Corps Commander level talks was held on 6 November, but ended without a breakthrough. The friction is set to last through the winter.

India and China have been in the worst-ever stand-off since the 1962 war, which has resulted in both sides deploying nearly 50,000 troops each, along with artillery and armoured elements.

India had taken the Chinese by surprise on the intervening night of 29-30 August when specialised units outflanked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and dominated the crucial heights at the southern banks which gives an overview of China’s Moldo garrison.

The Chinese have been insisting that Indians withdraw its soldiers from the location. The tensions escalated further in September this year when Chinese troops fired shots in the air as a warning to Indian soldiers.


Also read: Faster rotation, 24-hour medical support — how Army’s beating the elements in Ladakh winter


 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. China is slowly transitioning away from its Maoist socialist model towards a more nationalist one. This is why friction between the CCP and KMT are reducing.

    China needs to make up for the so-called “century of humiliation” and it will do so by throwing it’s weight around.

  2. Chinese can never be trusted as history has taught from the past, China grabbed Indian lands illegally in 1960,s while deceptively and simultaneously promoting friendship, just as it invaded Tibet with illegal annexation, so far among all the land and sea disputes China has, so far only settled with Russia, as it can’t match Russia military fire power. India should formally recognize Taiwan, forge alliances with all of Chinas adversaries including Philippines, Vietnam and all other countries that have disputes with China. China only understands force. If push comes to shove, India should be ready for a mutually assured destruction if chinas furthers any misadventures.

  3. When India jawans repeatedly cross over to China LAC to attack their soldiers and guard points thinking to occupy more lands as China is bogged down by COVID epidemic, it get a befitting bloody nose. Then India cry foul its China incursion even Modi already admitted no one enter India territory.

    While both sides were having de-escalation and trust building talks, India army broke all its trustworthiness by sneaking into China LAC to occupy 6 peaks, and fire shots recklessly when confronted by PLA.

    Then India kept bragging such reckless acts as India brave surprise attack for better bargain. They even falsely alleged its China that fired warning shots.

    Now that Chinese have seen all India leaders have no integrity and trustworthiness for meaningful talk, they will not discuss further until India left all the 6 peaks it occupied in Aug as pre-condition. But India will not comply due to face and desire to use it as bargain chip.

    So Ladakh standoff will be perpetual under such India brinkmanship, until China decided to launch another 1962 punitive attack to recover all its lands.

    With India as neighbors, nobody need enemies. India invaded every single neighbors and occupied their lands with dispute speak voluminous. Such aggression behavior will have no peace with every neighbors.

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