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India-China border tension | Chinese military brings heavy construction equipment, hundreds of soldiers into Galwan Valley: Report

Latest satellite images of the Galwan Valley confirm the presence of a large number of Chinese military vehicles used to transport personnel, heavy construction equipment and tents for forward deployment.

June 18, 2020 / 09:33 AM IST
Situation in Ladakh's Galwan Valley (Image: Planet Labs via AP)

Situation in Ladakh's Galwan Valley (Image: Planet Labs via AP)

China has brought in several hundred soldiers and heavy construction equipment into Ladakh's Galwan Valley, latest satellite images from Planet Labs shows.

According to a report by The Economic Times, the Chinese military has brought in additional troops and continues to remain deployed inside Indian territory near Patrol Point 14.

These troops from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were among the 800-odd soldiers who ambushed the Indian patrol party on June 15 evening.

This is despite the two sides having earlier agreed to move back a kilometre and create a 'no-man's land' or a buffer zone in the Galwan Valley.

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Latest satellite images confirm the presence of a large number of vehicles used to transport personnel, heavy construction equipment and tents for forward deployment.

The newspaper cites Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.), a satellite imagery expert, as saying that the images indicate the deployment of at least one combined arms brigade along the Galwan River. Bhat also suggested that the build up had increased over the last few days.

Chinese troops have intruded up to three kilometres in the area and are placed on dominating heights that threaten the strategic Dar-buk-Shyok-Daulat (DSDBO) road, the report adds.

Original image: Planet Labs via AP Original image: Planet Labs via AP

The report further quotes Bhat as saying that the Chinese military's intention could possibly be to attempt and capture the entire valley and its confluence point with the Shyok River.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report and the satellite imagery.

News reports suggest that talks between Major Generals of India and China remained inconclusive on June 18, days after a violent face-off between the two sides. No immediate disengagement or change on ground has taken place. More talks are likely to be held in coming days.

At least 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the face-off in Galwan Valley on the night of June 15-16. Four more Indian soldiers, who were in critical condition, are now stable.

In a statement earlier, the Indian Army had indicated that there were casualties on the Chinese side too. China has not denied this. However, the Chinese side has not put out any number so far.

India has taken strong exception to China claiming sovereignty over the Galwan Valley, saying its "exaggerated and untenable claims" are contrary to the understanding reached on the issue between the two sides.

"Both sides have agreed that the overall situation should be handled in a responsible manner and that the understandings reached between Senior Commanders on 6th June should be implemented sincerely. Making exaggerated and untenable claims is contrary to this understanding," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said late on June 17.

Read our complete coverage on the India-China border tension.

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