ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Chinese 'Straight Line' Frustrated

Capital View by Romesh Thapar from Volume XIV, Nos 28, 29 & 30, July 1962.

The tension in Ladakh is causing some anxiety, but not to the extent that the daily press would have us believe. The Chinese attempt to cut off one of our forward pickets in the Galwan Valley is, in a sense, a clear confirmation of the success of our tactics. The Chinese have been trying to push southward in order to claim more areas as entirely under their control. They have built roads and supply depots. But they have been frustrated in their effort to establish what might be described as a “straight line of occupation” from one point to another; the Indian army, despite tremendous odds, has been most active patrolling these areas, often establishing pickets and outposts well behind the farthest Chinese positions on our territory. Peking’s aggressive posturings and threats prove that this policy has had effect.

Whether the Chinese intend to destroy our forward positions or to merely use this encircling strategy to ‘prove’ that we have moved into territory which is not ours remains to be seen. Their withdrawal in the Galwan Valley, however, despite superiority of numbers, suggests that they are merely flexing their muscles – but one can never be sure of Peking’s moods.

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