Modi government must come clean on India-China faceoff: Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi/IBNS: After mounting pressure on the Narendra Modi government over the anti-Covid-19 lockdown and migrant crisis, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the Centre must come clean on the recent faceoff between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Targeting the government, Gandhi tweeted, "The Government’s silence about the border situation with China is fueling massive speculation and uncertainty at a time of crisis. GOI must come clean and tell India exactly what’s happening."
The Government’s silence about the border situation with China is fueling massive speculation and uncertainty at a time of crisis.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 29, 2020
GOI must come clean and tell India exactly what’s happening.
There has been rising tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.
Disagreement over the precise location of the LAC, the greater capability created by India in recent years to patrol up to the LAC, and an increasingly assertive Chinese posture have all contributed to the escalation of tensions at the LAC.
Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in as many as four unsavoury incidents in recent weeks alone. Troops from the two countries clashed and came to blows on 5 May near the Pangong Tso lake that falls partly in eastern Ladakh and partly in Tibet.
The face-off between China and India started after Beijing reportedly expressed displeasure about the construction of a road and bridge in the Galwan area by India.
Several troops on both sides were injured. A similar incident occurred on May 9 in Naku La in North Sikkim.
Separately, the Chinese State-run media claimed on May 19 that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was “tightening control” by putting up tents in one of the flashpoints in Galwan Valley after it accused India of “unilaterally” changing the status quo by “illegal construction”. A build-up was also reported in Demchok.
Of these incidents, the one at Pangong Tso lake was the most significant as it is in the path of the Chushul approach, one of the main approaches that China can use for an offensive into Indian territory.
Indian assessments show that a major Chinese offensive, if it comes, will flow across both the north and south of the lake. During the 1962 India-China war, this was where China had launched its main offensive. Also, the May 5 incident near Pangong Lake marked at least the third publicly-reported physical confrontation at the same location in the last four years.
The LAC predominantly passes over land, but at Pangong Tso it passes through water. Pangong Tso is a long and narrow lake located at a height of over 4,000 meters in the Himalayas.
The 135 km-long lake sprawls over 604 sq km in the shape of a boomerang and is 6 km wide at its broadest point.