China breaks September pact, quietly strengthens troop positions in Ladakh: Report

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China has violated a confidence-building measure proposed by the Peoples Liberation Army in order to defuse tensions in eastern Ladakh.

According to a report by India Today, PLA has consolidated its positions in eastern Ladakh and quietly, gradually increased troop numbers at the friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) despite specifically proposing four months ago that the two sides should refrain from sending more troops to the troubled front.

The latest ground assessments confirm that the PLA has not only reneged on the joint statement issued following the sixth round of talks on 21 September last year, but done so with attempted stealth.

A day after that round of talks last September, the two sides had issued a joint statement that was seen to be substantive forward movement after months in a deadlock. The two sides had, according to their joint statement, “agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgements, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.”

Four months later, that most crucial confidence-building measure is practically useless. India Today quoting unnamed top Army sources reported that the Indian Army has had no choice but to mirror the gradual build-up on the Chinese side. In some sectors, foreseeing fresh Chinese concentrations, the Indian Army has conducted preemptive actions. As a result, despite the deep winter chill, opposing troops, tanks and armoured personnel carriers are nearer to each other than they have been in the past four months.

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