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India plans to add 35,000 troops along China border as tensions simmer

Bloomberg July 30 | Updated on July 30, 2020 Published on July 30, 2020

A file photo of army vehicles move towards Leh, amid border tension between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, in Kullu district   -  PTI

India is preparing to position an additional 35,000 troops along its disputed Himalayan border with China as the possibility of an early resolution to the deadly tensions between the two neighbours fades.

The move would change the status quo along the contested 3,488 km Line of Actual Control and stretch the nations already tight military budget, senior Indian officials said, asking not to be identified citing rules on speaking to the media.

Twenty Indian soldiers and unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in an ugly skirmish on June 15 and since then, both sides have rushed thousands of soldiers, artillery guns and tanks to the region. With India-China border agreements not holding, the situation required additional troops, the officials said.

“The nature of the Line of Control, at least in Ladakh, has changed forever,” said the director of Delhi-based The United Service Institution of India and retired major general, B K Sharma. “Additional troops rushed by either side will not move back, unless there is a rapprochement at the highest political level.”

For now, the skirmishes have stopped. And after several rounds of high level military talks, Beijing said troops were disengaging in most locations.

Currently, the two sides are actively preparing for the fifth round of commander-level talks to resolve outstanding issues on the ground, China Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. We hope the Indian side will work towards the same goal with China, implement the two sides consensus and jointly uphold peace and tranquility along the border.

The Indian Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Published on July 30, 2020
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