Chinese deployment increased drastically at Chushul flashpoint

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New Delhi: The hardening of position by both India and China on the border situation in the first-ever defence minister-level meeting is being reflected on the ground as well, at the latest flashpoint in Chushul, with both sides digging in with additional troops, armour and heavy artillery.

It is believed that more than 10,000 PLA troops are now present near the flashpoint that extends from the southern bank of Pangong Tso to the Spanggur gap and the strategic Rechin La pass, all of which falls under the Chushul sub sector.

Sources said the presence of Chinese infantry combat vehicles in close proximity to the border near Spanggur has been observed and fresh troops appear to have been deployed after India took control of strategic peaks and passes last week.

A source described the proximity of troops as the most dangerous build-up in Eastern Ladakh since the Galwan valley deployments, which ended after a deadly clash that left soldiers dead on both sides, including the commanding officers of battalions involved in the faceoff.

At strategic locations around Black Top and Rechin La, soldiers are posted within 800-1000 meters to each other, well within small arms range. Almost all troop locations are within heavy weapons range of either side, building up a deadly scenario if the situation deteriorates.

While the Indian stand is that the dominating positions taken are on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), it may be pointed out that the Indian border claim line in the Chushul sub-sector is several kilometers due east. On the northern bank of the Pangong lake, the Chinese side had violated the LAC by almost 8 kilometres to come to its claim line on Finger 4.

India’s hardening of line on the LAC situation was evident from the stand taken by defence minister Rajnath Singh in his meeting with Gen Wei Fenghe in Moscow on Friday.

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