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India admits sizeable number of Chinese troops moved in Ladakh

National

June 3, 2020

ISLAMABAD: India has for the first time confessed that a 'sizeable number' of Chinese troops have moved into Eastern Ladakh and India too has taken all necessary steps to deal with the situation, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Tuesday, referring to the nearly month-long high-altitude standoff between the two armies.

Singh said a meeting between senior Chinese and Indian military leaders has been scheduled for Saturday (June 6) and claimed that India is not going to back off from its position. Asked about the current situation in sensitive areas in Eastern Ladakh, he said Chinese have come up to what they claim is their territory. There has been a disagreement over it. A sizeable number of Chinese people have come there. India has done what it needs to do.

Singh's comments were seen as first official confirmation of presence of significant number of Chinese troops in the disputed areas which India maintains are on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the disputed border between the two countries. According to reports, significant numbers of Chinese troops have been camping in Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso which were used to be Indian side of LAC.

The minister said China should think about the issue seriously so that it can be resolved soon. Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a bitter standoff in several areas along the LAC in mountainous Eastern Ladakh for close to a month. Both the countries are holding talks at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the dispute.

"The Doklam dispute was resolved through diplomatic and military talks. We have found solutions to similar situations in the past as well. Talks at the military and diplomatic levels were on to resolve the current issue," Singh said. "India does not hurt pride of any country and at the same time, it does not tolerate any attempt to hurt its own pride." The trigger for the face-off was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.