This June 28, 2020, satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the Galwan Valley along the border between India and China. The Chinese had expanded an outpost camp at the end of a long road connected to Chinese military bases farther from the border, according to experts (AP)
NEW DELHI: The top defence-security establishment in India plans to keep a hawk eye for any signs of Beijing not abiding by the phase-wise disengagement and de-escalation agreed to by Indian and Chinese military commanders on June 30. The process gathered momentum after a discussion between NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi on July 5.
If the dirt-track road the Chinese have built along the Galwan river all the way to the LAC is found to have been “black-topped” to asphalt in coming weeks, or if the People’s Liberation Army begins stocking up provisions and shelters for the winter, these would be read as indications the Chinese want to settle in rather than disengage, top-level officials in government here have told TOI.
For the present, after both sides arrived at an agreement at the military commanders meeting on June 30, the Chinese side, according to sources involved in the negotiations, is clearing out of areas covered by PP14, PP15 and PP17A, where, at last count, five structures had been removed.
On the northern bank of Pangong Tso, the Chinese have cleared out of three points on Finger 4, moved to Finger 5, but have held out on further disengagement on 3-4 points in the upper reaches there until “Phase 2” of the process. However, in the Depsang area, Indians continue to be physically prevented from patrolling areas which they used to. The Chinese have built a road up to the LAC and they now physically stop Indian foot patrols. That has not changed.
The careful monitoring of Chinese actions to see if they match pledges made in parleys is part of the drill the Indian side will follow given the extreme distrust that has crept into relations after the bloody scrum at Galwan on June 15 that left 20 Indian and an unspecified number of Chinese troops dead. Apart from monitoring of recently created buffer zones, Indian forces will keep