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LAC Standoff: Why is China desperate to capture Pangong Tso? Know real reasons behind PLA moves in Ladakh

Sept. 2, 2020, 12:24 p.m.

Leh: There are barren hills on the northern side of this beautiful lake in the mountains of Ladakh where the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are currently engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation. 

Situated right on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Finger area on the banks of the Pangong Tso, which China was always restless to occupy, stands witness to frequent aggressive moves by the two largest armies of Asia. 

The average annual temperature in the Pangong area varies from minus 18 degrees to minus 40 degrees. But the identity of this beautiful lake is due more to the confrontation on its picturesque banks between two of the largest armies in the world rather than the lovely blue color of its deep water.

The Indian Army and the PLA of China have often engaged in confrontations in this difficult area. Over the past few years, the Chinese army has been building roads along the banks of the Pangong Lake. When the Kargil war took place in 1999, China took advantage of the opportunity at that time to build a 5-kilometer-long road along the Pangong lake.

Main features of Pangong Tso:

– There are Chinese PLA posts on Finger 8.

– China’s PLA believes that the LAC is at Finger 2.

– Six years ago, the PLA tried to build a permanent base on Finger 4. But the  Chinese were forced to drop those plans due to India’s opposition.

– The Chinese PLA uses light vehicles for patrolling at Finger 2.

– Chinese PLA soldiers are asked to return when confronted by Indian troops during patrolling.

– The geography of this area is such that confusion about the LAC is not new. China has always tried to to take advantage of this.

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