This development comes as India and China are to hold the third round of Lt General level military talks today.
In a claim to disputed territory, Chinese forces in the contested region of Ladakh’s Pangong Lake have inscribed a massive Mandarin symbol and map of China onto the ground they occupy, reported NDTV.
The inscriptions, located between ‘Finger 4’ and ‘Finger 5’ measure approximately 81 metres in length and 25 metres in breadth and are large enough to be clearly spotted by satellites.
India believes it has the right to patrol from ‘Finger 1’ to ‘Finger 8’ while China believes it has rights to patrol from ‘Finger 8’ to ‘Finger 4’.
At the moment, ‘Finger 4’ is the boundary between the two sides after violent skirmishes between soldiers of both sides in May in which dozens of Indian soldiers were attacked with weapons such as batons wrapped with barbed wire.
Chinese forces, deployed in significant numbers at ‘Finger 4’ no longer permit Indian soldiers from patrolling in the direction of ‘Finger 8’.
This comes as India and China are to hold the third round of Lt General level military talks today.
Indian and Chinese soldiers continue to be eyeball to eyeball at the Line of Actual Control at Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, Depsang Plains and Pangong Tso in Ladakh and at Naku La in North Sikkim.
And now China has reportedly started creating trouble for Indian patrols in the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area between patrolling points 10 and 13 and the Demchok region in eastern Ladakh.
The armies of India and China are locked in a tense standoff in eastern Ladakh, where China has reportedly occupied 60 sq. kilometres of territory claimed by India.
A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh has said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.
The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir.
When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.
This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.” This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.
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