iconimg Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 25, 2013
The government may have downplayed the Chinese incursion in the Ladakh sector as a localised affair, but top military sources indicate it had the approval "from the highest authorities" in China.

Worryingly, there's a growing suspicion within the military establishment that the intruding Chinese soldiers may hold on to Indian territory for quite some time, "if not permanently."

Two flag meetings between India and China have failed to resolve the deadlock, and a third is expected this week amid Chinese claims that their troops never crossed into the Ladakh region.

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.

Sources said the Indian Army was keeping an eye on how China planned to maintain supply lines to support these troops. An equal number of Indian soldiers have set up a base around 300 metres away from the Chinese.

"The third flag meeting is in the offing but we suspect China will not budge from its stand," an army source said, adding that diplomatic efforts would have to be intensified to find a solution.

Official figures show that more than 200 Chinese incursions are reported every year, a violation that the government refers to as "transgressions."

The latest episode is, however, different from what has happened in the past. This time they have camped in Indian territory.