India to raise PLA fighter transgression in Ladakh in military talks on Sunday

Published on Jul 16, 2022 10:35 AM IST

New Delhi will seek the withdrawal of forward deployed PLA troops at patrolling point 15(Khugrang Nullah) at the 16th India-China senior military commanders meeting tomorrow.

PLA Air Force J-10 fighter flew over friction points in last week of June violation the 10 km no fly zone protocol and escalating tensions on Ladakh LAC.
PLA Air Force J-10 fighter flew over friction points in last week of June violation the 10 km no fly zone protocol and escalating tensions on Ladakh LAC.

India will emphasize on PLA Air Force to respect the 10 kilometer no-fly zone convention along the Ladakh Line of Actual Control (LAC) even as it will seek withdrawal of forward deployed PLA troops at patrolling point 15 (Khugrang Nullah) at the 16th India-China senior military commanders meeting tomorrow.

There has been no movement in the PLA disengagement since the Chinese Army restored April 2020 status quo ante at Gogra-Hot Springs in August 2021. The decision to hold senior military commanders talks at Chushul on Indian side on Sunday was taken after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar firmly raised the issue of boundary resolution in a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 7 at Bali on the sidelines of G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting.

Also Read: India, China to hold 16th round of corps commander-level talks on July 17

While Beijing watchers are optimist of a positive outcome from tomorrow’s meeting, the Chinese withdrawal from PPT 15 will not be easy as the present PLA deployment is on the shortest route between Gogra-Hot Springs and Galwan sector. Khugrang Nullah and Chang Chemmo River are two tributaries of Shyok river on the banks of which PPT 14 (Galwan), 15 (Khugrang), 16 (Hot Springs) and 17 (Gogra) are located, just short of the perceived LAC.

‘Momentum of recovery’ in ties, China tells India, leaves out talk on troop disengagement

Although South Block is tight-lipped about the forthcoming dialogue, it is evident that the issue of a Chinese J-10 fighter breaching the no-fly zone and flying over the friction points will be taken up by the Indian side as this is against the established protocol. In the last week of June, a Chinese aircraft breached the Indian perceived LAC and flew over the friction points for a few minutes. The fighter was detected by the Indian radars and Indian fighters were launched to ward off or intercept the PLAAF fighter. Clearly, the PLAAF aircraft was trying to earmark the Chinese perceived LAC by breaching the no-fly zone and escalating tensions in the area where no less than three divisions of troops are deployed on both sides respectively. The present stand-off in Ladakh sector began on May 5, 2020, after the Chinese PLA transgressed into the north banks of Pangong Tso in large numbers and in violation of all established and agreed protocols and agreements in a bid to draw a rejected 1959 Line defining the Chinese perception of the LAC.

While the Chinese army continues to drag its feet over disengagement from the LAC, the Indian side is also in no hurry and has the staying power to ensure that no unilateral change in status quo is affected by the PLA al along the 3488 km LAC. The Indian Army is not only looking for disengagement from the PPT 15 friction point but also restoration of the patrolling rights in Depsang Bulge in Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) sector and Charding Nullah Junction in the Demchok sector. India is all for continuing the military dialogue with China over resolution of friction points and has made the disengagement the prime condition for restoring normalcy in relations with the Xi Jinping regime. China on the other hand wants the resolution of friction points to go parallel with the restoration of the bilateral ties with focus on economic cooperation.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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