China today said that it did not provoke any confrontation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, reiterating that its troops have always acted in compliance with relevant treaties. Here's what and how of the row:
· On April 15, a 22 personnel platoon of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector at night and established a tented post there. They were carrying personal weapons like QBZ 95 rifles.
· It is now being said that China has 40-strong military presence 15 kilometers inside the perceived Indian side of the Line of Actual Control, in the eastern Ladakh area.
· It is suspected that Chinese army all-terrain vehicles carried 30-35 PLA troops 12 to 13 km inside the Indian territory before they occupied their current position. The nearest road on the Chinese side of the LAC is around 75 km away from where the Chinese soldiers are currently stationed at a height of 17,000 feet.
· 15 Indian Army personnel along with 14 ITBP jawans set up camps in the area, in retaliation. The force is also considering the option of dispatching additional troops if the need arises.
· The intrusion took place just weeks before Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India.
· The Indian government downplayed the Chinese incursion in the Ladakh sector as a localised affair, but top military sources indicated that it was approved by "the highest authorities" in China.
· Two flag meetings between India and China were held on April 18 and April 23. They, however, failed to resolve the issue. The date for the third flag meet is expected to be communicated by Beijing earliest by April 25.
· Army Chief General Bikram Singh went to Ladakh for a two-day visit on April 23 to asses the situation.
· In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying denied any incursion by the PLA personnel on April 24. China has repeatedly claimed that it's troops never crossed into the Ladakh region.
· Yet, a Chinese helicopter brazenly flew over an Indian military base in Ladakh's Chumar area on April 24.
· On April 25, Army Chief General Bikram Singh briefed defence minister AK Antony about the present situation in Ladakh.
· External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on April 25 that he would visit China on May 9. "I believe we have a mutual interest and we should not destroy years of contribution we have put together," he told reporters. "I think it is a good thing that we are having a dialogue," he added.
· There is a long pattern of intrusions by both sides into the no man's land between the two Lines of Actual Control.
· Official figures show that more than 200 Chinese incursions are reported every year, a violation that the government refers to as "transgressions."