Amidst the ceremonial third round of meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Indo-China Border Affairs in the name of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) there are more than five incidents of incursions by the troops of People’s Liberation Army in Chumar Sector of Ladakh. Chinese troops last month intruded into the Chumar Sector in Ladakh—the same area which had sparked off tensions in April—and smashed some bunkers besides cutting wires of cameras installed at the border post. Chumar, is a strategically very important sector, located 300 km from Leh. This has always been an area of discomfort for the Chinese as this is the only area along the Indo-China border where they do not have any direct access to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Since April Chinese are trying to find some foothold in this area. Though India has taken positive steps by taking decision on the creation of a special corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border, the approach of the PLA and the way we are engaging with China needs to be strategically reviewed.
Out of these, the incidents of 16th and 20th July are most worrisome as around 50 Chinese soldiers, riding on horses and ponies, intruded into the Indian territory of Chumar in Ladakh and asked Indian soldiers to vacate their positions.
The table above clearly suggests that while engaging India into discussions, Chinese are trying to create pressure by military intrusions. India also needs to ponder upon with the coincidence that when India’s Defence Minister was visiting China, Prime Minister of Pakistan was also in China and Major General Luo Yuan made provocative statements. All these developments suggest that while engaging China into dialogue, India needs to explore other strategies to counter pressure tactics and encirclement policy.