It is South Eastern Ladakh that was chosen by Chinese forces as a routine excursion region. These soldiers intruded into Indian lands till about a km and a half, before deciding to leave. Indian forces watched from a distance.
CHINA-OCCUPIED Tibet is in news again. It is causing tension not only in the bordering areas of Ladakh but also in the South Block that houses both the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister's office besides the Raksha Mantralaya. China experts see a pattern in these intrusions by the Chinese forces. Initially the intrusions were in our territory in Arunachal Pradesh
but as per the news on Monday (September 9), the Chinese soldiers have penetrated into the Indian territory by a kilometer and a half. Apparently they returned to their base in Tibet without firing a shot because their intrusion went unchallenged.
While the civil servants deciphered the event as a peaceful incident, a military man would feel disturbed that enemy troops or potential enemy troops intruded into our territory and yet returned unchallenged. Indeed it is an affront to our defence preparedness and a challenge to India's sovereignty. It also shows that the deployment of Indian Army in the border areas needs a rethinking. Granted that we cannot cover every inch of the Indian soil with Indian soldiers but we have to concede the point that the Chinese army and Pakistan's Islamic terrorists can come into India
and return unchallenged.
On the Gya Peak, in South-Eastern Ladakh, the soldiers of the PLA (People's Liberation Army) in battle dress carrying their rifles and other personal weapons made an incursion, painted some wayside stones in red colour - the Chinese national colour - and returned to Tibet. That part of the Indian territory is being guarded by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police who did not exchange a word with the adversary, what to say of exchanging fire. There is an agreement between India and China signed in 1996 that encourages peaceful negotiations and prohibits firing a shot in anger. The agreement has not been violated till today and is possibly a saving grace to hide our ill preparedness.
The principle lying behind it is maintenance of peace and tranquillity on the India China borders. Many a time perceptions differ about the Line of Actual Control on the borders. Should there be a dispute on it, it should be resolved peacefully through a dialogue at the appropriate level. That explains lack of reaction on the part of the Indian security forces when the intrusion took place. However, we may not ignore the fact that of late, the Chinese intrusions are on the increase.
Is there a sinister design and a conspiracy between China and Pakistan to corner India? Well, it cannot be denied outright and cannot be confirmed at present. Historically speaking, China has been backing Pakistan and even encouraging the country with money and material including weapon systems to cause pin pricks to India. However, lately Pakistan has been having its own problems with the Taliban terrorists and China knows it well. The country seems to have taken it upon itself to embarrass India in more ways than one.
One may surmise that the present military incursions are supplementing the ongoing diplomatic offensive like opposing India in the Asian Development Bank or Security Council. The current no-war, no-peace situation between China and India is likely to continue for sometime to come. Unless India becomes economically and militarily strong to counter the once sleeping giant, now wide awake, China, there is no way out of the Chinese checkers.