NEW DELHI: India is keeping a close watch on the ground situation in eastern
to see how disengagement proceeds and has made it clear that China needs to accept the changed “ground reality” that India will not back off from pursuing its interests on its side of the Line of Actual Control.
The Indian insistence that Chinese troops retreat has been backed by actions such as the recent construction of a bridge at Shyok, intended to drive home the point that the tactics of violating the LAC and squatting on Indian territory will yield diminishing returns. “The message is that China needs to recognise that things are not the same,” a source said.
The Indian establishment is well aware that there are gaps between action and words and the Chinese foreign ministry itself has been blowing hot and cold. The proposed disengagement agreed to by military commanders will be watched but there will no de-escalation on the Indian side and vantage points will not be yielded to the intruders even if the waiting game drags on.
Sources pointed out that the absence of a firing incident on the border since 1975 was a significant achievement and the government did not undervalue it. Indeed, Indian troops were under instructions not to escalate matters. But this did not mean that Chinese troops could, at any time of their choosing, violate the LAC and seek to browbeat the Indian leadership.
The fast pace of border infrastructure construction will be maintained and the Indian armed forces will continue to take measures to ensure that intrusions are reduced, checked at the earliest and repulsed by counter-mobilisation or by a proportionate response in case they are confronted with a situation like in Galwan Valley on June 15.
The Centre also intends to continue with its actions in other areas where it is looking to scrutinise Chinese investments and reduce dependence on a range of imports. There does not seem to be any move to take radical measures and the government will be happy if the military tensions are resolved. In the longer term, it is looking to rework a matrix that has for long favoured China, whether on the LAC or in its measures to prop up
— all aimed at stalling India’s rise.