In spite of India and China inking the path-breaking Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) in Beijing on October 23, there is no let-up in transgressions by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The last such breach was reported in Demchok this week and South Block is studying the latest patterns.
From October 16 to 31 this year, 21 incursions were reported in eastern Ladakh as compared to 14 during the same period last year. Senior government officials say Chinese troops are mounting pressure on Trig Heights in Daulat Beg Oldi sector and Chumar, and their aggressive posturing is leading to regular face-offs with Indian troops and banner drills.
“It is not the transgressions that one is worried about as Indian troops are not backing off. Of concern is the PLA’s aggressive posturing with new border infrastructure, hardware up gradation and exercises being carried out along the LAC. We need to watch this over a period to assess the message being given by Beijing,” said a South Block official.
While South Block does not find the methodology of recording transgressions on the LAC by various security agencies very reliable, it is hoping for incursions in eastern Ladakh to go down drastically during the winter months. New Delhi has already made it clear to Beijing that peace and tranquility on the border is an important guarantor of growth in bilateral relations.
However, New Delhi feels that the PLA’s tough posturing could be part of Beijing’s strategy to define red lines on land borders as part of what President Xi Jinping termed “core interests”. It is perhaps for this reason that the PLA is aggressively patrolling Chumar after India dismantled a shed there to defuse the Depsang standoff in April.