Following increased tensions in the Himalayan border area, China has deployed new tank divisions, further stoking the fire. South Pangong, which is located in the Eastern Ladakh region on the border, has witnessed a gradual build up of forces on both sides. An Indian army chief has described the situation as being extremely “tense” and warned of a build up of forces in precaution. In recent weeks, India has scored some successes after securing numerous strategic heights in the area, while Chinese forces remain stationary on lower ground. The Indian army has warned that it has equipped its troops with anti-tank missiles, as they watch over the enemy from high above.
Contested Border Area
The contested border area, which is claimed by both Beijing and New Delhi, has witnessed both sides beef up their forces. As part of the latest moves, the Indian army positioned its formidable T-90 heavy main battles tanks in the area. Indian upgraded T-721 tanks have also been observed in the vicinity. However, and crucially to the situation, India has maintained its control over the vital strategic position of Spanggur Gap. According to experts familiar with the tense stand-off, the strategic point represents the vital artery through which China would manoeuvre its tanks in the event of further conflagration.
June 20 Incident
In the most serious incident of the last fifty years, numerous soldiers from both sides were killed when hand to hand skirmishes broke out between both sides. According to initial news reports, the June 20 incident involved soldiers fighting with their bare hands and a range of improvised weapons, including stones and clubs. The reports suggested that the Indian came off worse as a result of the confrontation, while the Chinese refuse to reveal the extent of the losses they incurred. Emergency meetings between the two sides have failed to resolve the situation.