Indian government analysts report that during the recent military incursions, China seized more than 60 square kilometers of Indian-patrolled territory at Ladakh.
After multiple failed efforts of a resolution, the stand-off between the two forces in the Galwan Valley and Ladakh has now entered the second month. Although so far no bullet has been fired in the region, the military buildup from both sides has continued.
Many officials at Indian Army headquarters in New Delhi now suspect that top generals in Ladakh were caught napping when Chinese troops intruded last month, according to a senior Indian military analyst.
The call to replace Leh’s Corps Commander, and Udhampur ‘s Northern Army commander, is growing now, he said.
While India is highly unlikely to go to war on this disputed territory, there is increasing concern within the Indian Army that New Delhi would allow the Chinese to maintain the region they seized last month.
Ajay Shukla, an Indian journalist who worked closely with the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, said the Army recognized a flashback of Pakistan’s Kargil actions in 1999 but this time from a stronger opposition, China.
He said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are constantly consolidating their defenses along with areas of the Galwan River and Pangong Lake, up to three kilometers within the territory. For decades the area was patrolled and claimed by the Indian Army.
Although Chinese officials have assured that through dialogs the situation can be diluted, their military actions in the valley do not match their words, he said.
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.
PLA troops construct bunkers while their engineers connect forward forces with the road infrastructure on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). All of this means PLA troops are here to live.