The Chinese regimes acts of aggression on the disputed border with India have drawn concern, and analysts have questioned the timing of the fights that transpired between the patrols of the Asian neighbors at two locations in the past few weeks.
India and China share over 2,167 miles of a disputed border which is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Multiple violent skirmishes recently happened along the LAC in the eastern Himalayan Indian territory of Ladakh and the central Himalayan Indian territory of Sikkim that also shares a border with Bhutan.
According to Lt. General Gurmit Singh, a former Indian Deputy Chief of Army Staff who was superannuated after forty years of service, said the recent conflict started on May 5 and May 6 when a faceoff happened between a Chinese and Indian patrol in the area of the lake of Pangong Tso, where Ladakh meets the region of Tibet.
“So on May 5, there was a faceoff that was ugly. They were jostling. At the same time on May 9, there was another face off in the north Sikkim area between two patrols, they were jostling with each other. Seven Chinese soldiers and four Indian soldiers were injured,” Lt. General Singh told The Epoch Times over the phone from New Delhi.
“Since then, the activity level went up in the area of Galwan valley, which is north of the Pangong Tso lake area and also in the area of eastern Ladakh,” he said, adding that the dispute exists between India and China because both the countries have different perceptions about the LAC.
Since the conflict began, the Chinese have erected 80-100 tents, brought in heavy vehicles and heavy weapons, and have started building bunkers in the Galwan valley.
Singh said India has deployed soldiers in the area and a hotline exists between the local Chinese and Indian army commanders in east Ladakh and other diplomatic channels are also open.
He also said that the Indian army has been put on alert: “They are prepared.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese side blamed India for the tension and said that the Indian side trespassed into the Chinese territory, which the Indians have denied, according to the Press Trust of India.
Why are the Chinese Building Bunkers?
Aparna Pande, a Research Fellow and Director of Hudson Institutes Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia in Washington, told The Epoch Times that the Chinese building bunkers along the disputed territory with India in Ladakh is a tactic they have used with other countries it shares borders with.
“This is their tactic: Argue over territory, keep pushing and pushing and testing the other side, then when you can build permanent bunkers and then sit there. Then again after a little while creep forward,” said Pande, adding that the Chinese regime has been similarly aggressive with Japan, Russia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
“Remember China does it on the land-sea, creates islands, and claims territory. Creates fictitious claims,” she said.
Lt. General Singh said the building of bunkers by the Peoples Liberation Army is significant firstly because its happening on the Line of Actual Control and not on a resolved border, and secondly because of other incidents of strategic importance that have happened in the larger region around the same time.
He points at a road that India inaugurated on May 5 in the state of Uttaranchal, in the border region of Nepal and China, that the Nepalese didnt like and a dam that Pakistan is building in the region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area under Pakistans occupation of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
The dam, inaugurated on May 2, falls in the same region where China and Pakistan are building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a part of the Chinese regimes ambitious Belt and Road project (BRI) from Xinjiang to Pakistans southern shores. The dam is a joint venture of the lead firm, China Gezhouba Group of Companies (CGGC), and a Pakistani firm, Descon Engineering.
Singh said “all these dots need to be connected” to analyze the situation whereas Pande said the Chinese regime is using Pakistan and Nepal to put pressure on India.