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Top ministers, officials meet to discuss fresh Chinese incursions

Top ministers, officials meet to discuss fresh Chinese incursions

Indian ministers including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General M.M. Naravane and Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Paramjit Singh are holding discussions on the course of action against Chinese incursions at Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh.

The high-level meeting is likely to frame a future strategy against Chinese aggression in Ladakh following clashes between Indian and Chinese troops after the latter were found in Indian territory. The latest skirmishes were reported from the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake on the night of August 29-30. Nearly 450 Chinese troops are believed to have intruded into the Indian side but were thwarted in their efforts to capture territory and alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India has been holding regular talks with China to resolve the border confrontation at many levels including the one held by Special Representatives for border talks – National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, besides those held at military and diplomatic levels. However, these talks have not yielded results and the status quo remains with the armies of the two nations locked in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation in Ladakh.

In the latest confrontation, People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were found ascending a table-top area between Black Top and Thakung Heights on the south bank of the Pangong Tso lake. The Indian Army, which has been on the alert since the Galwan Valley attack of June 15 swung into action and checked the Chinese advance. The Chinese had reportedly lost over 40 soldiers in the Galwan Valley attack inside Indian territory but have not confirmed their casualties. India too lost 20 soldiers in that attack.

The Indian Army was on alert after intelligence inputs about possible Chinese plans to change the status quo again along the LAC. The army was prepared as it had moved in troops in adequate numbers to deter the Chinese army after the Galwan Valley clashes..