India-China clash: border point problem has a past, withdrawal key to de-escalation in region


Southeast of the Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers died in clashes in June 2020, Hot Springs is in the Chang Chenmo River Valley, near Kongka La, a pass that marks the actual control line. India’s Patrol Point 15, this is not a launching pad for offensive action, although the region did experience action before and during the 1962 war.

China’s reluctance to withdraw its platoon-sized unit from Hot Springs is a sign of the difficulties in normalizing the situation. The PLA has traditionally had a large base east of Kongka La. The pass also marks the border between two of China’s most sensitive provinces – Xinjiang to the north and Tibet to the south. Kongka La is located west of China’s G219 highway which connects Xinjiang and Tibet.

As the 1962 war approached, an incident in Kongka La forced the Indian government to hand over responsibility for the Ladakh border to the military. On October 20, 1959, a three-member Indian police patrol was arrested by the Chinese in Kongka La. When the patrol did not return, 20 other staff, led by a deputy police superintendent, stepped in. on the way the next day to find the three Men.

As 16 of the 20 made their way towards the Chang Chenmo River, they were attacked by the Chinese who used guns, mortars and hand grenades. Nine members of the search team were killed and the rest arrested by the Chinese who treated them very harshly. A Chinese soldier also died in the clash. Immediately after the incident, Sector West was handed over to the military on October 24.

In 1962, China attacked Hot Springs even though it was not one of the areas that saw heavy fighting. Until 1960, China had a company stationed in Kongka La and Hot Springs, which it transformed into a regiment in the Hot Springs area in 1962.

When the war started India had a platoon (around 30 soldiers) in Hot Springs. After China attacked India’s position in the Galwan Valley, attention turned to the Chang Chenmo Valley and the hot springs. The army ordered troops in the Hot Springs area to withdraw after the Chinese started bombing the area and were able to cut them off. Indian soldiers tried to return first to Tsogatsalu and then to Phobrang. While moving along the Chang Chenmo River, almost all of the soldiers suffered from frostbite and frostbite.

Now, with the disengagement talks at a standstill, this creates a major obstacle to a possible de-escalation of the region where both sides have around 50,000 troops each, as well as tanks, artillery guns and defenses. Aerial. Hot Springs is the latest of the sticking points that the military says emerged last year when China moved its troops through the ALC. The other points were PP14 in the Galwan Valley, PP17A at Gogra Post and the northern and southern shores of Pangong Tso – disengagement was completed at these locations.

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