India-China border dispute: Importance of Pangong Tso and why its fingers are much sought after

Bear in mind the climax scene of the blockbuster Hindi film ‘three Idiots’? It was shot on the Pangong Tso. The film was so standard in China that followers there celebrated 10 years of ‘three Idiots’ in December 2019, hailing it because the ‘movie of the century’. Proper now, this Pangong Tso is the location of eye-to-eye confrontation between Indian and Chinese language troops, following a scuffle in early Could. Either side have ramped up their troop presence however “disengagement” course of can also be underway. The Lieutenant Common-level talks are scheduled for June 6. Although present theatre of navy pressure additionally consists of Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie, focus of the India-China border dispute is prone to be on Pangong Tso. Pangong Tso actually interprets right into a “conclave lake”.

Located at over 14,000 ft, Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is about 135 km lengthy. The Line of Precise Management (LAC) – the road that separates Indian and Chinese language troops since 1962 – typically runs alongside the land aside from the width of Pangong Tso. Right here it runs by water. Either side have marked their areas saying which facet belongs to which nation — in English, Hindi and Mandarin. India controls about 45 km stretch of the Pangong Tso and China the remainder. The present website of confrontation is spurs jutting out of Chang Chenmo, an jap extension of the Karakoram Vary. These spurs are known as fingers. There are eight of them in rivalry right here. India and China have completely different understanding of the place the LAC passes by. India has maintained that the LAC passes by Finger 8, which has been the location of the ultimate navy publish of China. India has been patrolling the realm – totally on foot due to the character of the terrain – as much as Finger 8. However Indian forces haven’t had energetic management past Finger 4. China, alternatively, says the LAC passes by Finger 2. It has been patrolling as much as Finger 4- largely in gentle autos, and at instances as much as Finger 2. The confrontation that happened in Could occurred at Finger 5. And, the present theatre of eye-to-eye confrontation is Finger 2, the place the Chinese language rushed within the aftermath of the confrontation. Screenshot of Google Map: Fingers 1-Eight of Pangong Tso marked Historically, China has been staking declare as much as Finger 4, which is the place Chinese language troops had made advances in 2017 through the Doklam standoff. A video of the troopers from two sides exchanging punches and kicks had gone viral again then. It was Finger Four the place China demolished a everlasting construction it had inbuilt 2014-15 after the Indian facet strongly objected to such development. The demolition by China underlined mutual understanding that it was on the Indian facet of the territorial management. Nevertheless, the newest Chinese language transfer is a part of its long-term technique to realize better management of the realm. It was below this design, China had constructed highway as much as 5 km on the Indian facet of the LAC in 1999, through the Kargil conflict with Pakistan. India needed to pull out troops from Pangong Tso space for Operation Vijay. China noticed a possibility to make advance its encroachment and constructed a metalled highway alongside the lake 5 km inside. Pangong Tso is strategically essential as it is rather near Chusul Valley, which was one of many battlefronts between India and China through the 1962 conflict. China seems to maintain India constricted within the area by taking strategic benefit of trying over the Chusul Valley, which it may do if it advances alongside Pangong Tso. This evaluation is prone to mirror in Indian strategy when the 2 sides sit for “disengagement” talks on Saturday. There may be one other rationalization to Chinese language aggression in Pangong Tso and Galwan areas. China doesn’t need India to spice up its infrastructure wherever close to the LAC. China fears it threatens its occupation of Aksai Chin and Lhasa-Kashgar freeway. Any menace to this freeway additionally places Chinese language slightly imperialist plans in Pakistan-occupied territories in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and past in Pakistan. The present impulses of China appear to be guided by 255 km Daulat Beg Oldie-Darbuk-Shayok highway. It extends as much as the bottom of the Karakoram cross, which is the final navy publish. Daulat Beg Oldie is the best airfield on the planet. This highway, when full, will cut back the journey time from Leh to Daulat Beg Oldie from two days to 6 hours. India has speeden up its development of the highway. Latest information stories counsel that the defence ministry has put a particular request with the railways to offer 11 particular trains to ferry labourers to the highway development website. The tempo is alleged to have picked up within the period of recent face-off alongside the LAC.