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NEW DELHI: China is showing no intent of disengaging from the troop confrontation in eastern Ladakh, while further digging in its heels by continuing to build roads, bridges, helipads and other military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to back its troops at the actual face-off sites.
“China is indulging in ping-pong tactics by shuttling the ball between diplomatic and military talks, without any serious attempt at conflict resolution. There is no change in the ground situation,” said a senior military official on Saturday. India, of course, has counter-deployed to match the build-up of troops, artillery, tanks and other heavy weaponry by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in all the three sectors of the 3,488-km long LAC stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
The strategy being finalised for any contingency as well as the long haul in the already well over 100-day military confrontation in eastern Ladakh was discussed in a flurry of top-level meetings over the last three days here. Defence minister Rajnath Singh chaired a two-hour meeting with national security adviser Ajit Doval, chief of defence staff General Bipin and the three Service chiefs – General M M Naravane, Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria – on Saturday.
The defence minister meeting was preceded by General Naravane summoning an unscheduled meeting of his top seven Army commanders from across the country on Thursday and Friday to review the “security situation and operational preparedness on both the northern and western fronts” with China and Pakistan. “There is always the possibility of a collusive threat from them,” said another officer.
“China seems hell-bent on its strategy to push the LAC westwards in Ladakh. It’s carrying out military infrastructure development at an exponential pace since its troops intruded into Indian territory at multiple points in the high-altitude region in early-May,” he said.
From building roads in several sectors close to the LAC and augmenting the capacity of its airbases at Hotan and Kashgar in Xinjiang as well as Gargunsa, Lhasa-Gonggar and Shigatse in Tibet to laying optical fibre cables for its troops at the faceoff sites in Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs areas, China is doing it all, said officers.
Several rounds of diplomatic and military talks have so far failed to break the deadlock in the stalled troop disengagement in Pangong Tso and Gogra as well as de-escalation in the rival military build-ups in the strategically-located Depsang Plains-Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector, as was reported by TOIearlier. With India underlining that the LAC is “non-negotiable”, the Army and IAF are preparing for the coming long-drawn winter.

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