By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2021-10-13 06:28:50
Another round of war of words is happening between India and China as both sides accuse each other of not adhering to commitments made during negotiations to defuse the situation at the LAC. While India accuses China of either delaying disengagement or not withdrawing troops from positions it said it would vacate, the Chinese side is saying that India is making "unreasonable and unrealistic demands". Since this comes under the backdrop of fresh Chinese intrusions in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Barahoti in Uttarkhand, and the fact that India has raised the issue of Chinese reinforcements and constructions near the LAC in Ladakh, it raises concerns about the intentions of the PLA.
It is now clear that the Chinese are playing a devious game. They wish to keep India engaged in a long-drawn out process of negotiations in Ladakh and delay the disengagement under one pretext or another while at the same time they will intrude into Indian territory in other places and create new flash points, leading to further talks and more delay. This will never really allow any serious effort to settle the boundary dispute in its entirety, which suits them fine. The Chinese side is more interested in gradually, by 10-15 kilometres, intruding into India, then pushing back 5 kilometres and retaining 10 kilometres of Indian land by sleigh. This is what they have done in Ladakh and this is what they propose to do elsewhere. The same would have happened in Tawang if the Indian troops were not vigilant enough.
It now seems that the Chinese have dug in for a long haul. The Indians will have to do the same. Short of escalating things to an ugly confrontation, India will have to match the Chinese in troops and armament deployment and in infrastructure. The talks can go on simultaneously, but if the Chinese are given even an inch, they will convert it into many square kilometers. Hence, Indians troops will have to be extra vigilant in the harsh winter and foil Chinese designs to trespass.