CHINESE INTRUSION IN EASTERN LADAKH; WHY DBO AREA, WHY NOW AND WHAT SHOULD BE
Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh
The Chinese set up a tent with a platoon strength very close to DBO (Daulat Beg Oldi), about 18 km inside the LAC (Line of Actual Control) on Apr 15. In spite of three flag meetings and diplomatic efforts, the Chinese have refused to go back to original positions, in consonance with the joint Border Management Protocol.
The questions to be examined about this intrusion are-
a) why intrusion in DBO area!!
b) why now; and
c) what should be the Indian response!!
WHY THE INTRUSION IN DBO AREA
For more than a year now, the Chinese have been aggressive in the South and
Sea, while claiming a chain of islands. However, till mid April,
situation along the Indo-Tibet Border was almost normal.
To obviate this,
is planning for alternate routes for oil imports over land. Oil imports from China Russia are likely to be doubled after Mr. Xi
Jinping’s recent visit to .
attacks from the West. Pakistan
The road to DBO on the Indian side has made hardly any progress and therefore inducting and maintaining large forces in DBO Sector is difficult. The Chinese have done their homework and selected a soft spot.
The timing of the intrusion seems to be linked with the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister Mr. Li Kegiang to
towards end May. Pakistan
Third, there is also political unrest in
. Chinese are highly concerned
fishing in troubled waters. India
The timing of the intrusion in DBO could have been synchronized to put pressure on the Indian Government from an advantageous position when the visit of the Chinese PM takes place.
It may therefore be prudent to carry out own intrusion across the LAC in another sub sector, where Indian Forces are at an advantage. The selection of the area and timing are best left to GOC 14 Corps located at Leh. However, Indian Army must ensure that in case there is an armed skirmish, we have the upper hand. Required troops, artillery guns, missiles, armed helicopters and surveillance where with all must be positioned well in time, plans and contingencies war-gamed in advance. Indian Forces should not be hustled in to any such action.
There is a need to have joint planning with the Air Force. To put pressure on
may be a fighter squadron is moved to Leh, in the garb of exercises. Let this
not be only Army’s battle, as it happened in 1962. China