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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

India upset at Chinese incursions

September 1, 2009

Mail Today
August 31, 2009 

New Delhi, Aug. 31 -- Indian Army Chief of Staff
General Deepak Kapoor on Monday admitted that
Chinese choppers had violated the Indian airspace
along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Leh.

The Army chief said, "There has been one
incursion of a Chinese helicopter sometime back."

However, there are reports that two Chinese
helicopters violated the Indian airspace in Leh.
The helicopters air-dropped some canned food in a
barren land at Chumar, northeast of Leh, along the border on June 21.

India authorities are upset at the Chinese incursions across the LAC.

But India has decided not to push these incidents
till the time the Chinese show restraint and
caution. Brig (retd) Arun Sehgal says, "It
appears that New Delhi has decided to not push
the issue militarily though we have the capability."

It was also reported that the MI series
helicopters that entered Indian airspace on June
21 were reported to the nearby defence post by
residents of the high- altitude area living along
the Pangong lake, prompting the Army Aviation
Corps to rush its Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

Sources told Mail Today that these are disputed
areas on which competing claims exist of both China and India.

On a lot of these locations, the two sides have
not even exchanged maps. The Army spokesperson
for Udhampurbased Northern Command told PTI that
there was a report of a helicopter flying in the
area south of Chumar, where India and China have
differences in perception on the Line of Actual Control.

A confidential defence document accessed by PTI
shows that Chinese helicopters entered into
Indian air space along the Damchok area and Trig
Heights in Ladakh and air dropped canned food.

Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army has been
crossing over into the Indian side in this region
quite frequently with August reporting the maximum number of incursions.

Trig Heights also known as Trade junction, which
connected Ladakh with Tibet in earlier days, is
an area where Chinese patrol have frequented this
year in June, July and August. Chinese Army
patrols have made 26 sorties in June, By Mail
Today Bureau in New Delhi including two
incursions by helicopters, and 21 in July.

In August this year, Chinese patrols have entered
into the Indian territory 26 times and walked
away with petrol and kerosene meant for jawans of the border guarding forces.

Brig Sehgal says, at least, in the east the
aggressive patrolling by the Chinese forces
appears to be an attempt at establishing presence
in such areas that could come under negotiation
between the two sides. "If they can show that
they have marked their presence in these areas,
that would enhance their claim," he says.

The PTI story says incursions have taken place in
eastern Ladakh and on the northern bank of
Pangong Tso Lake, located 168 km from Leh.
Chinese patrols come frequently in the north and
south of this lake, whose 45 km are on Indian
side while another 90 on Chinese side. India and
China have been engaged in talks over the Line of
Actual Control and had exchanged maps in 2002. In
the western sector (East Jammu and Kashmir), the
Samar Lungpa area, between the Karakoram Pass and
the Chipchap river, is contentious, with Chinese
maps showing the Line of Actual Control to be south of the Samar Lungpa.

This is the northernmost part of the border, far
to the north of Leh. But while the Indo- Tibetan
Border Police operates north of the line the
Chinese claim to be the border, they remain south
of the Lungpa. South of the Chipchap River are
the Trig Heights, comprising Points 5495 and 5459.

Chinese troops frequently enter the area and in
fact, they have a name for Point 5459; Manshen Hill.

With inputs from PTI
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