Ups and downs of the treacherous ground of LAC

Report by: 
NIRMALYA BANERJEE
Kolkata
1 Jul 2018

Gone are the days five years ago when troops of the the Peoples Liberation Army of China had penetrated deep into Indian territories in the Depsang valley in Ladakh, setting up a camp and reinforcing it with helicopters. The crisis had lasted for three weeks after which the Chinese had withdrawn.
For, according to a PTI report from Beijing, the Chinese military has hailed a joint yoga session of troops of the PLA and the Indian army on the International Day of Yoga that was observed with great fanfare on June 21.
This was, in fact, the fourth International Yoga Day celebration amid sub-zero temperature in eastern Ladakh, organized at Daulat Beg Oldie-Tien Wein Dien meeting point on the Line of Actual Control between India and China. 
"Speaking of the border cooperation, I want to mention special event between the two defence forces," Chinese Defence spokesman Colonel Wu Qian said. "On June 21, soldiers from both sides of the borders had a special meeting and practiced yoga together. Because of the June 21 International Yoga Day," he said.
Daulat Beg Oldie is also one of the five Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian and the Chinese armies where disputes on the LAC are settled through mutual discussions. In fact, it was opened as the fifth BPM point in 2015, after the stand-off in 2013. Besides Chusul in Ladakh, three other Border Personnel Meeting points are in the eastern sector: Nathu La in Sikkim and Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh.
In the treacherous terrain of India – China border dispute, however, no situation seems to be of lasting value. Relations plummeted in the eastern sector once again in the eastern sector in 2017, in the wake of the move of the Chinese army to build a road on Doklam plateau, in Bhutanese territory. In that year, the Indian army did not receive invitation from the Chinese army for a ceremonial BPM on October 1, which is customary on the Chinese national day.
In 2017, the Kailash – Manmasarovar Yatra through Nathu La had also to be abandoned as the Chinese did not allow Indian pilgrims. The border trade between Sikkim and the Tibet Region of China was also not on full swing. This year, however, it has been a different story, with pilgrims leaving for the Tibet plateau through Nathu La pass and the border trade going on as usual. (Written with PTI report)