A standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh that lasted all day on Wednesday has been resolved through delegation-level talks, Army sources said.
Indian soldiers were patrolling at the northern bank of Pangong lake on Wednesday morning when they were stopped by Chinese soldiers, according to a report in The Times of India. Two-thirds of the lake in the high-altitude region that extends from Tibet to Ladakh is controlled by China.
Soon, the standoff between the two sides started, with both calling in reinforcements and it continued till the evening, the newspaper reported.
“The matter has been de-escalated and disengaged fully after delegation-level talks yesterday. This occurs due to differing perceptions of LAC (Line of Actual Control). There are established mechanisms to resolve such occurrences,” an Army source said.
This is not the first time that a standoff has been reported between Indian and Chinese soldiers around Ladakh’s Pangong lake, a site that also draws a lot of tourists.
In August 2017, a video of a standoff between soldiers of the two sides was widely circulated on social media, showing many soldiers from the two countries punching and kicking each other and throwing stones. The incident took place on Independence Day when Chinese troops tried to enter Indian terrain along the banks of Pangong lake, but were stopped by Indian soldiers.
The two-hour-long standoff was brought under control after a drill which sees both sides holding up banners proclaiming their rights over the disputed area before stepping back to their respective positions.
Then also, Brigadier level officers met to try and find a way to bring down tensions in the region, as was done on Wednesday.
To guard its side of Pangong lake, Indian forces are armed with high-speed interceptor boats, bought from the US, which can accommodate nearly 15 soldiers and are equipped with radars, infrared sensors and Global Positioning System. These boats are used to conduct reconnaissance and area domination patrols.
In June 2017, Indian soldiers crossed the Sikkim border to stop the construction of a Chinese road near the “Chicken’s Neck,” a thin strip that links India to its north-eastern states. After more than two months of soldiers from both sides staring down at each other just 150 metres apart, the standoff, described as the worst in decades, subsided with both countries accepting that they were withdrawing their troops.
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