India won’t accept the proposal of Chinese PLA commanders to show the eight strategic mountainous spurs jutting out of the Sirijap range into a no-troop area, people conversant in the matter said. Chinese commanders are understood to possess proposed that Indian and Chinese troops withdraw to either side of the eight spurs that overlook the north bank of Pangong lake – named Finger 1 to eight – and convert the area in between into a buffer zone, or a no-man’s land.
This proposal doesn’t serve India’s interests since half the eight spurs were under Indian control before the Chinese troops violated 30 years of written agreements to take care of peace and tranquillity along the LAC on May 5, this year. And Indian troops patrolled up to finger 8. The Chinese commanders are suggesting within the name of peace that Indian troops withdraw and make the world between first and last spur as a no troops area.
As of now, both the Indian Army and thus the PLA face each other on Finger 4 with China ramping up infrastructure to Finger 8. The Indian Army and thus the PLA are deployed in proximity within the Gogra-Hot Springs area with up-gradation of military capabilities within the occupied Aksai Chin area.
“This proposal has been rejected. We cannot reward China for its transgressions. We want China to revive established order ante and PLA to travel back to its position as of April 2020,” a military commander said in New Delhi as Army Chief General MM Naravane bound up his visit to forward areas of the East Ladakh sector where tens of thousands of soldiers are deployed in sub-polar temperatures to match the PLA’s strength.
One of the areas that General Naravane visited on Wednesday was the strategic heights of Rezang La and Rechin La on Kailash Ranges that was occupied by Indian troops in an overnight operation on August 29, a preemptive move designed to outclass the PLA that was trying to expand its footprint and reach the 1959 line on the south banks of the now nearly frozen lake. The Indian Army chief visited the south banks of Pangong Tso to make sure that the deployed troops are comfortable in sub-zero temperatures and therefore the armor is fighting fit.
The senior military officer said accepting the Chinese proposal would have amounted to ceding control over territory patrolled by Indian Army and therefore the Indo-Tibetan Border Police before Chinese troops started transgressions across the Indian perception of the road of Actual Control (LAC).
This aggressive approach of the PLA was the backdrop for the clash between Indian and Chinese patrols on the northern bank of Pangong lake on the night of May 5. Over subsequent few days and weeks, the face-off spread to another parts of the East Ladakh sector including Galwan valley and Gogra-Hot Springs area near Kongka La area.
Chinese forces have refused to backtrack over the past seven months and sometimes attempt to suggest that Indian and Chinese troops should perform a simultaneous withdrawal of troops. India, however, wants the PLA to require the primary step back because it had been the primary to cross the line and trigger the face-off.
The bloody confrontation in Galwan valley in mid-June that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers has already eroded the illusion of trust on the Indian side. The PLA had provoked the violent scrap 10 days after its top generals had reached a broad understanding after three rounds of talks with Indian commanders on initiating disengagement at the standoff points.
A senior officer said there are multiple proposals from PLA commanders since then but mostly appeared to be aimed toward incentivising the Chinese troops for its transgressions. The Indian side has been firm on its demand that any disengagement and de-escalation must end in restoring the 20 April status.

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