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Chinese troops spotted with spears, guns near Indian positions

Chinese troops spotted with spears, guns near Indian positions

Photographs have emerged from the India China border showing People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers, with medieval-style weapons – spears and clubs. The Chinese soldiers are close to Indian positions near Rezang La at Pangong lake.

The spotting of the Chinese soldiers with ancient weapons along with guns, close to Indian positions gives rise to speculation that they plan to launch another assault to force Indian troops from their advantageous positions which they had occupied earlier during the month at the Pangong Tso lake.

This incident comes a day after the latest skirmish on September 7 when Chinese soldiers had fired shots in air and indulged in provocative military movements.

<img class="wp-image-12608 size-full" src="https://indianarrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/MedievalChineseSoldiers2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="564" /> Chinese soldiers with spears and other sharp edged weapons near Mukhpari hill north of Rezang La (IANS)

China has kept pressure on the Indian border since May when its troops entered Indian territory at Pangong Tso lake and occupied areas near the lake. On June 15, the Chinese launched a medival-style attack on Indian soldiers at Galwan Valley using iron studded sticks and clubs. Despite the surprise attack, the Chinese reportedly lost over 40 men while the Indian Army suffered 20 casualties. The Chinese, true to their secretive style, have not disclosed their casualties.

Though there have been several rounds of talks between the militaries of the two countries, the Chinese have not shown interest in vacating Indian territory. The talks have, therefore, not borne fruit.

In a statement, the Indian Army, said China continues to "undertake provocative activities to escalate" the situation at the border and PLA soldiers had "fired a few rounds in the air" in an attempt to intimidate Indian troops. Army spokesperson, Col Aman Anand said: "At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing."

The army added that the Chinese have been "blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at the military, diplomatic and political level is in progress".

"In the instant case on September 7, 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, the PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops," Col Anand added.

However, despite the grave provocation, Indian troops "exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner", he added.

"The Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility, however, it is also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all costs. The statement from the (PLA's) Western Theatre Command is an attempt to mislead their domestic and international audience."

The Chinese have issued their own version of the incident which says that the Indian Army fired at the patrol of the Chinese border guards who had gone to made a representation, and these border guards were forced to take "countermeasures to stabilise the situation on the ground".

The Indian Army occupied crucial heights in areas around the south bank of Pangong lake and the Chinese top brass is reportedly furious at being outwitted by Indian troops. The area has become a new friction point but the Indian Army is in an advantageous position, as it now dominates the Chinese Moldo garrison and the Spangur Gap which are under Chinese control.

One of the most critical heights the Indian Army is manning is the Rechin La, which the Chinese are protesting against. From here, the Indian Army enjoys a vantage point not just for Chinese army military bases on the south bank of the Pangong lake but can also be in range of the Finger 4 area north of the lake.

China has forced a four-month-long standoff on India at the LAC in eastern Ladakh through its well-known salami-slicing tactics, trying to encroach upon Indian territory..