Indian government experts estimate that China has captured more than 60 square kilometers of Indian-patrolled territory in Ladakh during the recent military incursions.
The stand-off between the two forces in the Galwan Valley and Ladakh has now entered the second month following multiple failed efforts of a resolve. Though no bullet has been fired in the region so far, the military buildup has continued from both sides.
According to a senior Indian military analyst, several officials in the Indian army headquarters in New Delhi now believe that top generals in Ladakh were caught napping when Chinese troops intruded last month.
The call for replacing the Corps Commander in Leh, and the Northern Army commander in Udhampur, are now growing, he said.
While India is highly unlikely to go to war over this disputed territory, the fear within the Indian Army is growing that New Delhi will allow the Chinese to retain the area they captured last month.
Ajay Shukla, an Indian journalist who has been closely working with the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, stated that the Army recognizes a flashback of Pakistan’s 1999 Kargil actions, but this time from a stronger opposition, China.
He said that troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are continuously consolidating their defenses along with the Galwan River and Pangong Lake areas, up to three kilometers inside the territory. The area has been patrolled and claimed by the Indian Army for decades.
Just as the Kargil operation allowed Pakistani troops to dominate the Srinagar-Zojila-Kargil-Leh highway and threatened to cut off Ladakh from the north, the Chinese intrusion into the Galwan River valley allows PLA troops to overlook the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) highway and cut off the army’s lone year-round connection with its isolated ‘Sub-Sector North’ (SSN), at the base of the Karakoram Pass.
Ajay says that the PLA soldiers have erected bunkers at the mount of the Galwan River valley, and are just one-and-a-half kilometers from the DSDBO road.
The PLA apparently intends to dominate this road permanently.
Though Chinese officials have assured that the situation can be diluted through dialogues, their military actions in the valley do not match their words, he said.
PLA troops are building bunkers while their engineers are connecting forward forces with the road infrastructure on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). All this implies that the PLA troops are here to stay.