NEW DELHI: Holding a pencil in one hand and the other hand at an angle to it, General Bipin Rawat described what happened on the border with China near Tuting, Arunachal Pradesh, the last week of December.
As first reported by The New Indian Express, a Chinese road-building team with soldiers had entered Indian territory.
“We are in a commanding position there,” the General explained today. Illustrating the alignment of the Line of Actual Control, General Rawat said the border turns at almost a 120-degree angle at the point where the Yarlung Tsangpo turns into India from Tibet.
“We have a road in that region. They had come in almost 15 km east of that road”, he said. But because of the zigzag border it was difficult to say exactly how much into Indian territory the Chinese had come. “You could say the road was 800 metres long but they were just 200 metres from the LAC”, he said.
General Rawat said the Chinese did not want to escalate in a manner that would lead to a face-off. “We have a system there. There is an ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) post and then there are local villagers who are hunters who reported the intrusion,” he explained. Since the confrontation in the last week of December, the Chinese have been returned their bulldozers.
General Rawat said there may have been a wrong perception on the alignment of the LAC. But the Indian establishment was not taking chances because the Chinese had deployed military assets in Tibet heavily since Doklam. Most of those assets have since been withdrawn. The General said India and China were still in talks to establish a military-to-military telephone hotline.