A day after Chinese troops tried to close in on Indian positions on the South Bank of Ladakh’s Pangong Lake, photos have emerged of the soldiers armed with spears and rifles. The images indicate the Chinese may have intended to force a skirmish similar to June 15, when 20 Indian soldiers died for the country in a clash with the Chinese at Galwan Valley.
This is the first direct evidence of the mass use of these weapons by the Chinese army. Every single soldier is seen with these weapons in the images.
On Monday, Chinese and Indian soldiers were within shooting distance in key hills occupied by India on the south bank of Pangong Lake, between Rechin La-Rezangla-Mukhpari and Magar Hill in South Pangong.
When Chinese soldiers came up to a position near Mukhpari, Indians troops shouted at them and showed their weapons, say sources. The Chinese then fired a burst of warning shots.
Photos accessed by News Wrap show Chinese soldiers near Indian positions of Rezang La and Mukhpari.
These soldiers tried to come onto Indian positions and some of them fired in the air.
The soldiers are seen with knives and machetes attached to sticks. They are also armed with rifles.
The Chinese troops have been trying to come up to Indian positions after India gained an advantage on key heights at Pangong.
Sources say it was clear their intention was to potentially get into a skirmish with Indian soldiers. Despite these provocations, Indians have been able to hold onto their positions.
Earlier, there were two major incidents of Chinese provocation at Pangong Tso, a glacial lake at 14,000 feet, on August 29 and 31. India said the Chinese have been attempting to change status quo from a new area, the South Bank of Pangong. India was prepared and was able to thwart these attempts, said the government.
Tension between the countries peaked when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the clash on June 15. China also suffered casualties but never confirmed any figure.