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September 13, 2015

India-China troops face-off in Ladakh after Indian troops destroy Chinese Watch-Tower


Indian and Chinese troops recently had a face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, the same area where People’s Liberation Army had pitched camps in April, 2013 that had led to a three-week long stalemate.

The observation post or watch-tower was being constructed near Burtse, in the Depsang Plains. It was close to two points of strategic importance - the airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldie and the Karakoram Pass. China claims the Depsang Plains as part of its territory, a claim rejected by India.

Daulat Beg Oldie, or DBO, is an Advanced Landing Ground that is the critical supply link to Indian troops at the Siachen Glacier. It is among the highest airstrips in the world. The Karakoram Pass is among the most important land links between India and China, with its significance stretching to the ancient Silk Route.

According to officials in the know of developments, the watch tower that was built by Chinese troops in Burtse, North of Ladakh, has been subsequently demolished by the ITBP and Indian Army jawans yesterday.

After the tower was removed by the Indian troops, the Chinese side started building up their troop presence which was instantly matched by the Indian Army with sheer numbers. Both sides were sticking to their own positions, without crossing into each others’ Line of Perception, the reports said.

China is said to be eyeing this area, which gives advantage to India to overlook the Karakoram highway linking the territory illegally occupied by China with Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir.
Besides, India has an Advanced Ground Landing (AGL) facility in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) which was activated in August 2013 and the Indian Air Force had managed to land a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft at the air strip located at 16614 feet above sea level.

Attempts for a flag meeting did not succeed as Chinese side did not revert on the date for a meet, the sources said.

The PLA troops had made attempts to push the Indian troops back but these were thwarted, they said.

Indian troops displayed the banners in Chinese asking the PLA to return to their side, the officials said.

India and China share over 4,000 km of LAC. China claims approximately 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal Pradesh besides 38,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir sector.

The Stand-off, if developing, is visiting Ladakh exactly a year after, as a tense face-off between the two armies had persisted for over 30 days, at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting India.

This is the first reported military tension between the armies after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, which saw both sides committing to peace and tranquility at the disputed border.

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