India is set to position 35,000 additional troops along the 4,057km Line of Actual Control in the contested Himalayan Ladakh region following high-level talks to de-escalate the simmering tensions between the two countries, senior Indian officials told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity.
The ushering in of extra troops in eastern Ladakh would change the status quo on the border, putting pressure on India’s already tight military budget, Bloomberg quoted an Indian official as saying.
The move reportedly comes as an effort to match the People’s Liberation Army's (PLA) deployment of troops in the area. Close to 50,000 PLA troops are deployed in Aksai Chin despite disengagement talks between the two nations.
After a violent face-off between the armies of the two countries on 15 June - which is said to have led to causalities on both sides - heavy weaponry, tanks, and fighter jets have been deployed to the region.
Indian satellite images from 27 July showed an additional build-up of troops and equipment by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Aksai Chin area. The Indian government expedited weapons and the deployment of troops after making an assessment that PLA troops are preparing for a long and harsh winter in the Himalayas.
India also deployed missile-firing tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and a full troop brigade (4,000 men) to Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) to prevent any possible Chinese incursion from the Shaksgam-Karakoram pass in the Ladakh region, as per military commanders cited in media reports.
Both countries have accused each other of illegally crossing the LAC and staging provocations in the region.
The skirmishes have caused the worst crisis in relations between the Asian economic and military giants in decades, with India moving to ban products from China, and the government cancelling several contracts with Chinese entities on the construction of railways, roads, and telecommunications infrastructure.