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China’s bid to change status quo in Ladakh ‘provocative’, India responding firmly: Defence Ministry in year-end review

Source : India Today

China’s bid to change status quo in Ladakh ‘provocative’, India responding firmly: Defence Ministry in year-end review
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Military tensions with China continue despite several rounds of talks. With no signs of de-escalation, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has termed China’s attempt to change the status quo in several areas in Eastern Ladakh as “provocative”.

“Unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force in more than one area on the Line of Actual Control have been responded to in adequate measure,” the Ministry of Defence said in its year-end review. Since tensions in Ladakh started last May, there has been an enhanced troop deployment of more than 50,000 in the sector. Not just Ladakh, China has been making aggressive moves in the Eastern sector bordering Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim over the past year.

Responding to the threat based on internal deliberations, the Indian Army has carried out a realignment of forces keeping with the Army’s mandate of ensuring territorial integrity and to cater to the major augmentation of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces and military infrastructure, the defence ministry said.

“To resolve the issue, the militaries of the two countries have been engaged in dialogue at various levels. After sustained joint efforts, disengagement was carried out at many locations. Force levels in areas where disengagement has yet to take place have been adequately enhanced,” the defence ministry’s year-end review said.

The MoD added that the Indian Army continues to deal with Chinese troops in a firm, resolute and peaceful manner while ensuring the sanctity of India’s claims.

Upgradation and development of infrastructure along the Northern Borders are being carried out in a holistic and comprehensive manner, including roads, tunnels for all-weather connectivity, the year-end review added.

“Four strategic railway lines, additional bridges across the Brahmaputra, up-gradation of bridges on critical Indo-China border roads and storage for supplies, fuel and ammunition. Major efforts have also been undertaken to identify dual-use infrastructure,” the year-end review went on to say.

Referring to the situation at Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the defence ministry said post a heightened situation on the Line of Control (LoC) for over five years, Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) reached an understanding in February 2021 to achieve mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the LoC, which continues to sustain.

However, the year-end review described the situation in the hinterland as dynamic and fragile but under control.

“Inimical elements re-energised their attempts at disrupting peace in the valley by selective targeting of minorities and non-locals. However, proactive measures in the non-kinetic domain and intelligence-based kinetic operations by the security forces have been able to counter the nefarious designs of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist outfits,” the MoD’s year-end review said.

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