To get China to budge, India brings in its best 3by Vicky Nanjappa
New Delhi, May 27: India has made it clear that there would be no backdown amidst the escalating tensions with the Chinese at the Line of Actual Control.
The Chinese had created similar problems during the Doklam issue and it was finally up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crack team to sort out the issue. With talks failing, it would now be up to National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat to take things forward and diffuse tensions.
It was this same team that had sorted out the Doklam standoff that lasted up to 73 days.
The line would be clear. Sources say India wants no escalation. It wants the standoff to end mutually and through dialogue. We want peace, the source also said.
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Officials say that the ongoing exercises by the Chinese are not engineered by the local commanders. It is a clear message from Beijing aimed at various issues, which also include diversionary tactics.
With it becoming amply clear that the standoff has the blessings of the top leadership in Beijing, India was required to put up its top men and most experienced to deal with the problem. We will see how it goes. There would be talks which would include back channel ones as well. As pointed out, we do not want the issue blowing out of proportion.
Meanwhile, India has also maintained that its stated position would remain the same. We will not allow any alteration of the Indian territory.
The Prime Minister met with the National Security Advisor, Chief of Defence Staff to assess the situation along the Line of Actual Control. India and China have been locked in a tense stand off, especially at the Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.
India says that it will not allow any change in status quo on the LAC. We have faced similar situations in the past and will face this one too with strength, the officer also said.
The Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road once complete will give a major advantage. The Chinese resistance is against us completing this. It is the Chinese troops who are hindering this and we will not back down, the official cited above said.
Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh held a security review meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff and the three Service Chiefs.
The meeting discussed various aspects on India's response to the provocation by China at the border. During the meeting, Singh was briefed by the Army Chief M M Naravane about the situation at the Line of Action Control. The Army Chief had two days back had taken stock of the situation.
Since the first skirmish on May 5, Chinese and Indian troops have held talks six times.
However with solution in sight, both sides continued to maintain aggressive posturing.
China has told India to stop building infrastructure even on its own side of the LAC. While asking China to maintain status quo at the border, India has said that the condition imposed is unacceptable.
For the Chinese the main bone of contention has been the 255 kilometre Darbuk-Syhok-DBO road that was built last year by India on its side of the border. This has made it easier for patrols to operate and the frequency of the patrolling can also be increased.
Even as both sides are locked in a war of words, India has rejected allegations by Beijing that the Indian troops were responsible for triggering tensions. The Chinese have in fact hindered Indian patrols, India has further said.
Meanwhile the Chinese military has been fast increasing its troops in areas around Pangong Two Lake and Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. China is trying to send a clear signal that it is not ready to end the confrontation with the Indian Army. The Chinese side has increased its presence in the Galwan Valley and has erected around 100 tents in the past two weeks. It has also been bringing in machinery for possible construction of bunkers, despite the stiff protest by the Indian troops.