India-China Border Dispute at Pangong Lake in Ladakh - History-Pole


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Friday, June 26, 2020

India-China Border Dispute at Pangong Lake in Ladakh

India-China Border Dispute at Pangong Lake in Ladakh 

The spurs that move downwards towards the Pangong Lake from the mountain. They have been numbered and they are also called Fingers. 
The finger 1 is on the westernmost side on the left and lies on the side of Indian and then fingers 2, 3, 4...until finger 8. Finger 8 is on the easternmost side of-on the side of China. The land between finger 4 to finger 8 had remained unoccupied until now and there had been no troops there. 

There were only patrols by both sides. Right now, China has physically occupied it and has stained itself there. They have brought in arms and are preparing trenches and their stations and have occupied that area completely.

There is a question that how many Chinese soldiers have occupied that area?

There are around 4,000 to 5,000 Chinese soldiers in the area between finger 4 and finger 8 and this is a distance of 4 Kilometers. This is the Indian Territory that they have occupied.

Let's Know the Pangong Lake completely.....

Pangong Lake:

In this article, we will discuss the finger points near the Pangong lake and what is its tactical advantage. 
Pangong Lake is roughly about 150 Kilometers east from the town of Leh by road. You can call it Pangong Lake or Pangong Tso, so it's the same thing. Tso means lake in the Tibetan language.
 It is an enduring lake situated at a height of about 4,350 meters above sea level. Enduring lake means the water of this has no outflow. It remains in the basin area. The water is either of operates or seeps into the ground. It has no other way of draining out.
Now, where does the water in the lake came from?
Glaciers from the nearby mountains melt and keep feeding into the Pangong lake. That is how this lake maintains its water level. 
Now Pangong lake is a salt-water lake but then I said this lake gets water from the melting of glaciers from the nearby mountains that means the water that flows in is freshwater.
Since there is no outflow the water turns into saline. Instead of saying fully saline, we can say that this lake's water is brackish meaning salt water and freshwater mixed together.
It is saltier than fresh water but not as salty as sea-water. If you look at the location of this lake 1/3 of this lake is in India and 2/3 is in China. this blue water body is the world's highest saltwater lake. 
On one hand, Pangong lake is quite scenic and attracts a lot of tourists but on the other hand, this lake lies at the heart of India -China border dispute in Ladakh

Pangong Lake is roughly about 150 Kilometers east from the town of Leh by road.
Google Sattelite Map Of Pangong Lake Fingers and India-China Border Dispute at Pangong Lake in Ladakh 

You see this yellow line or LAC, India claims its border till this yellow line. You see this red line, China claims its border till this red line. As you can see all the 8 finger points. 
If you carefully look at them, if you pay attention to these mountain ridges. They represent the shape of human fingers that have they are named as finger points. 
You will also notice finger points 1,2,3 lies on the western side of the red-line. Finger 4 is on the red line and I have told you red-line is the borderline claimed by China. Likewise, finger on its 5, 6, 7, 8 lies in between the red line and the yellow line. Actually, finger 8 is is very close to the yellow line
The recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops occurred at finger 4 of the Pangong lake. The Chinese Army has built military posts in several parts between finger 4 and finger 8.

Traditionally, the Indian Army has been controlling fingers 1 to 4. There is even an Indian Army post near finger 4. The area between finger 4  and finger 8 has been a matter of dispute and it is called a Grey area. 
But in 2020, this year in May, The Chinese Amry has built a camp on finger 4. This is where both the military has often witnessed confrontations when patrolling teams face-off. 

Even in 2017, during the Doklam standoff, the Chinese troops entered the finger 4 areas. If you look at the red line which is the Chinese claimed borderline. 
If you follow the line in the south, you will realize that it passes through the Famous Chushul Valley. By itself, the Pangong Lake does not have major tactical significance. 
After all, it is a saltwater lake, the Chinese of course doesn't need this saltwater. However the Chinese would use the water body to attack. But if you study mountain warfare,  you will realize that in high altitude the main difference will be the natural mountains.
Whoever has their post on the mountain, they have a tactical advantage. That is why if you look at the finger 4, the red line is at finger 4 which the Chinese claim as their border. the red line passes through the north and south bank of the Pangong lake.
The northern bank has a mountain over here and if you look at the southern bank., you will see the Chushul Valley which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.
During the 1962 war, Chushul valley was the place where China launched its main of himself. The Indian Army fought heroically at Rezang la, you must read about the battle of Rezang La, where Major Shaitan Singh got the Param-Vir-Chakra posthumously. 
120 Indian soldiers had killed about 1300 Chinese soldiers. 114 Indian soldiers died, 5 were taken prisoners as wounded, they all escaped and one was sent back to tell the story of the battle to the rest of the world.
And who sent him back this company's most remarkable commander Major Shaitan Singh who got a Paramveer Chakra for leading this battle. Anyhow, I hope you understand the significance of all these finger points near Pangong Lake.


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