After giving a befitting reply to Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh on June 15 night, the Indian Army is now all set to take back Aksai Chin from China's occupation. About 38,000 square km of territory in Aksai Chin is currently under China's control after border clashes between the two Asian nations in 1962.
As China is increasing its deployment on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India has also increased its strength by deploying the Army's three divisions in Ladakh. Indian Army has already deployed its most powerful T-90 Bhishma Tank in East Ladakh.
During the 1962 Sino-India war, there was merely one brigade, comprising 2000 jawans, on the Ladakh border. Now, there are three divisions, 45,000 soldiers, to protect the place. In hilly areas, the ratio is 1:12, that is, China will need a strength of 5 lakh soldiers to face the Indian Army's 45,000 soldiers.
On August 5, 2019, China had raised its objection when Ladakh was given a Union Territory (UT) status. The cause of concern for China is that Aksai Chin provides a smooth passage from Tibet to Xinjiang province. If this route is blocked, China will have the option to go through the Karakoram range.
If India makes a forward movement towards Aksai Chin, China will probably also lose its grip over Xinjiang province where Uighur Muslims are constantly harassed by the Chinese regime.
India's Aksai Chin area covers 37,244 km. The area is so large that many states are smaller than this. This area is about ten times larger than Goa; 5 times more than Sikkim; and about one and a half times bigger than Manipur. Aksai Chin is also bigger than many countries. It has more area than Taiwan. Belgium is too small in comparison to Aksai Chin, which slightly smaller than Bhutan.
Key details of Aksai Chin
- Aksai Chin is part of Ladakh
- It covers an area of 37,244 km
- Aksai Chin is currently under China's illegal occupation
- China started infiltration in Aksai Chin after 1947
- China constructed road in 1957
- 1958: China showed Aksai Chin in its map
- 1962: China occupied it after the war
- 1963: Pakistan handed over Aksai Chin to China
- Aksai Chin is situated in Karakoram mountain range
- Situated 17,000 feet above the sea level
- Covers about 20% of the total area of Kashmir
- Part of the princely state of Kashmir before 1947
- 1947: Raja Hari Singh signed the merger agreement
- 1947: Aksai Chin became part of India legally
- China started infiltration after 1947
- India has asked China to vacate the possession
Aksai Chin's strategic importance
- Important to monitor China
- Connects China with Xinjiang and Tibet
- The highest place in Central Asia
- Strategically significant because of its elevation
- Chinese military can keep an eye on India
It is believed that Aksai Chin would not have been in the possession of China if the Nehruvian government had remained vigilant against China's designs in the 1950s and had prevented the latter's incursion in time.
The Nehru government failed to check China's move to construct roads. It also failed to understand the importance of military power, otherwise the Indian Army would have been better equipped than China in 1962.
Meanwhile, the central government has decided to focus on improving the infrastructure in the border areas of Ladakh. The construction of as many as 54 mobile towers has started in Ladakh, besides building a mobile tower in Demchok near the LAC.
According to sources, the Nubra region will get 7 mobile towers, Leh will get 17 mobile towers, Zanskar will get 11 mobile towers while Kargil will have as many as 19 mobile towers.