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India has two options with stubborn China. The better one involves taking the battle to them

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The disengagement process between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army at the face-off points in Eastern Ladakh has reached an impasse. The sources that were feeding a structured narrative to the media have now gone silent. News reports from the front have got relegated to the inside pages of national dailies. This seems to be the result of the rigid and uncompromising stand taken by PLA’s South Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin, refusing to carry out any disengagement at Depsang and Pangong Tso, and claiming it to be Chinese territory, during the meeting held on 14 July.

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North of Hot Springs, in the area of Kugrang River and Changlung Nala, the PLA seems to have carried out only limited disengagement, and not as per the agreement. The Chinese are extremely sensitive to this area because from here, routes lead to the upper reaches of the Galwan river. Similar situation prevails in the area of Gogra-Kongka La. Thus, disengagement with buffer zones as agreed to in the Corps Commander-level meetings seems to have taken place only in the Galwan Valley.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 17 July, while addressing the troops in Ladakh candidly, confirmed the above situation on the LAC. “Talks are underway to resolve the border dispute, but to what extent it can be resolved I cannot guarantee. I can assure you, not one inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world.” For the first time, ever since the intrusions were reported in the beginning of May, this is official confirmation of the dangerous reality on the ground — the Chinese are seeking permanence to their territorial gains. However, in the broader context, the government continues to be in denial about any intrusion having taken place.

The opposition has directly attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he is relying upon denial and obfuscation with respect to loss of territory to protect his........

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