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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."

Chinese helicopters enter Indian air space twice in Ladakh

August 31, 2009

Press Trust of India
August 30, 2009

Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) -- Two Chinese
helicopters reportedly violated the Indian air
space in the recent months in Leh. The
helicopters air-dropped some canned food in a
barren land at Chumar, northeast of Leh, along the border on June 21.

The MI series helicopters were reported to the
nearby defence post by local residents who live
along the Pangong lake, prompting the Army
Aviation Corps to rush its Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

However, the Army could only find tell-tale signs
left by Chinese helicopters which hovered in the
Indian territory for nearly five minutes, sources said.

When contacted, Army Spokesperson for
Udhampur-based Northern Command said 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. It was reported by grazers.

A confidential defence document accessed by PTI
shows that Chinese helicopters entered into
Indian air space along Damchok area and Trig
Heights in Ladakh and air dropped canned food
containing frozen pork and brinjal, which had passed the expiry date.

Chinese People’s 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, including two incursions by helicopters, and 21 in July.

The Chinese army had made 223 attempts last year and left tell-tale signs.

The Army spokesperson, however, tried to downplay
these incursion attempts by saying, "There are a
few areas along the border where India and China
have different perceptions of the LAC. Both sides
patrol upto their respective perceptions of LAC."

"Due to perceived differences in the alignment of
LAC, the Chinese patrol does transgress beyond
our perception of the LAC in a few areas. The
pattern of transgressions has remained similar
over a long period of time," the spokesperson said.

Incursions have taken place in eastern Ladakh and
on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake. Chinese
patrols come frequently on the North and South of
this lake, whose 45 kilometres 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 LAC 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. The area, south-east of Trig Heights,
called Depsang Ridge is also contentious.
Differences were found when Chinese small-scale
maps were interposed on large-scaled Indian ones.
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