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January 27, 2021
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Face-off at Rechin La:Situation remains tense even as ground commanders engage in talks

China vs India

China is continually trying to sabotage the peace process and change the status quo on the south of Pangong Tso. Just two days after external affairs minister S Jaishankar discussed the border issue with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow, there have been reports of another showdown at the borders, this time a scuffle between the Indian Army and an aggressive People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the Rezang-La-Rechin La ridgeline. It is learned that a few Indian soldiers have sustained injuries during the fisticuffs.  

The situation remains tense even as both sides are talking to each other at the ground commander level, said Indian officials on Tuesday. The situation began on Monday at around 6:15 pm when aggressive PLA troops and Indian troops on Rechin La began to engage in fights. 

The PLA, in the first week of September, fortified all its positions on the contested points, bolstering troop strength south of the lake as the difference in LAC perception is large in this area. 

PLA passes the buck to the Indian troopers

Although the Western Theatre Command accused the Indian troops of firing warning shots late on Monday night and they fired as countermeasures to “stabilize the situation”, the truth is that the Indian Army had to open warning shots even in the last week of August as the Chinese troops pushed to reach to the Green Line (their perception of Line of Actual Control since 1960), south of Pangong Tso.  The Western Theatre Command, which is directly under Commander in Chief Xi Jinping, blames Indian troops of aggression. However, the Indian army aims to hold its territory and prevent a PLA land grab in the area. The Indian ground commanders already have permission to tackle the ground situation from the top so that there is no time lag in a reaction to PLA. The PLA talks about peace at the face, but is provocative on the ground.

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