‘September's Crucial, India to Gain in Winter Standoff With China’

Chinese have opened a new point of conflict on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake. 

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On the night of 29-30 August, Chinese troops violated the previous consensus and carried out “provocative action”, even as ground commanders of the two sides were engaged in discussions to de-escalate the volatile situation.

China’s military manoeuvres near Pangong Tso lake show fresh signs of escalating tensions.

The Quint spoke with Lt Gen (Retd) Satish Dua, to understand the implications of the latest military action. According to him, the month of September will be crucial as it is the last period for resupplying troops and figuring out logistics before winter sets in.

Why Action on Southern Bank Is a Matter of Concern?

According to the retired general, the military activity in the past few months was limited to northern banks of the Pangong Tso Lake. The finger area, which was a point of conflict, is located on the northern bank.

However, the action on 29 August was on the southern bank, which was not disputed earlier. “This is another point of (conflict) being opened by the Chinese,” he said.

Why is September Crucial for Both Armies?

It is in September that the Indian Army can move troops and logistics without hassle, to the frontline, before the winter sets in.

“It has happened in the past that sudden snowfall can close the mountain passes. This is why September is important. In this month, you are assured that you can move your logistics in place before winter sets in,” he said.

Who Has the Advantage in a Winter Stand-Off?

“Here we (Indian army) are at a slight advantage,” said the retired general. He said that India has its troops positioned in the region throughout, especially in the Ladakh region, and the Indian troops are well acclimatised.

“But, the bulk of the Chinese army comes there for exercises during the summer months and during the winter months, they reduce their presence significantly. Even the Indian Army reduces its presence from the forward posts, but we remain in Ladakh,” he explained.

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