The Situation at Pangong Tso Lake

Today ThePrint.in posted an article where their defence analyst wrote:

“Sources maintain that the main problem area is Pangong lake, where the Chinese have come 8 km inside the LAC on the Indian side, and dug in at ‘Finger 4’.”

From what I understand the information stated is true but the conclusion drawn is false. I only wish with the defence analyst had taken the trouble to look closely at publicly available information before making such a declaration and painting the Indian Army in bad light.

Here is a screenshot of Google Earth showing the entire Pangong Tso lake. There are two red curves. The left curve is the LAC and the right is the international border between India and China as claimed by India. To the left of the left curve is India and to the right of the right curve is China. The region in between is portion of Ladakh which India claims but is under Chinese control and has been since the 1962 war.

Now coming to the Pangong Tso lake, the point marked 4 is the end of finger 4 and lies on the LAC. The point marked 8 is the end of finger 8 and lies on the international border with China. The distance between points 4 and 8 is 8 kms. If you zoom into Google Maps or Google Earth you will find a road that the Chinese have built that runs from finger 8 to finger 4. Of course, India claims the territory between fingers 4 and 8. Our soldiers often patrol up to finger 8 which sometimes causes clashes with the Chinese soldiers when they come face to face with eath other. But the area between fingers 4 and 8 has been under the control of China. If they didn’t control that area they wouldn’t have been able to build the road.

So when ThePrint.in’s defence analyst states that the Chinese have come 8 kms “inside the LAC” and have dug in at finger 4, I believe he is incorrectly declaring that the Chinese have encroached into Indian controlled territory. They have not. They are simply building up troops on their side of the LAC.