There has been a considerable amount of maneuvering by the People’s Republic of China, and India over the weekend on the South Asia/Western Pacific gameboard. Each nation-state’s moves are calculated to widen and expand contemporary avenues aimed at mid to long term strategic national goals.
For China, their latest move appears designed to give off the impression of de-escalation in the Ladakh region. The People’s Liberation Army has moved 10,000 of its troops out of rear areas in in the area of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Sources have confirmed the movement from training areas traditionally used by PLA forces in eastern Ladakh, located roughly 100 miles beyond the Indian area of the LAC. The troops had been there since April, a short time before tensions in that area started to rise. It is worth mentioning that although the Chinese troops are departing, their heavy equipment will remain in place.This raises the possibility that the purpose of the move is logistics. Maintaining a large force in a region with such extreme winter weather is difficult, to say the least. Another caveat to the troop movement is that China is not pulling troops off of the frontline positions. The balance of forces along the LAC will remain unchanged.
Author’s Note: Apologies. Half way through writing this I became slightly ill and have decided to cut the entry short. I will put up a second part on Tuesday. Again, very sorry. Seems like the chemo side effects aren’t entirely out of my system yet.