Fresh clash in Ladakh, Indian Army ‘thwarts’ China move to change status quo at Pangong Tso

Snehesh Alex Philip, 31 August, 2020

A file photo of Pangong Lake in Ladakh | Visharad Saxena | Special arrangement
A file photo of Pangong Lake in Ladakh | Visharad Saxena | Special arrangement

New Delhi 31 Aug: A fresh clash between the Indian and Chinese soldiers on the intervening night of 29 August and 30 August occurred on the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, breaking the uneasy calm that had persisted following the deadly clash in Galwan Valley on 15 June.

A Brigade Commander-level flag meeting is in progress at Chushul to resolve the issue, said an Army statement Monday.

According to the statement, on the night of 29/30 August, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements amid the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The PLA troops carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo, said the statement.

“Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” it said.

It added that the Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity.

However, the Army didn’t give more details and didn’t respond to queries on possible injuries and how serious the clash was.

Defence sources said the fresh clash took place in the Chushul sector. The area has remained a concern since the stand-off between the two countries began in early May. India has moved in additional troops than what was already deployed in wake of the clash.

The LAC tensions

The fresh clash is the first since the one the violent face-off in the Galwan Valley at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on 15 June that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and undeclared number of casualties on the Chinese side.

ThePrint reported that the ongoing military talks hit a roadblock, with China refusing to budge from its positions.

The Chinese have continued with their construction activity along the LAC and have amassed a large number of tanks, artillery, missile systems among others

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