What's new

India-China tension: Sumdorong Chu military standoff that took 9 years to defuse

Syama Ayas

ELITE MEMBER
May 21, 2010
13,715
-21
13,135
India-China military standoff in eastern Ladakh has continued for over 130 days or four months. The Doklam standoff of 2017 had ended in 70-odd days. This time around, both sides have ramped up their presence in the high mountains and look prepared for a long winter.

The Ladakh standoff continues despite rounds of military and diplomatic-level talks between the two countries. However, this is not the longest military standoff between India and China. One particularly India-China military standoff took nine years to defuse.

It happened in the Sumdorong Chu area of Arunachal Pradesh, which got its statehood during and as a result of the India-China military standoff that began in June 1986 and complete disengagement could happen only in 1995.

WHAT BROUGHT INDIA AND CHINA FACE-TO-FACE?

Since the 1962 war, India had resisted strengthening its position along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the international border with China. There was a sense in the Indian government that any military buildup or infrastructural push in the border area might irk China.

This policy of “neglect” changed after Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980. The previous Janata Party government had already broken the ice with its External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee paying a visit to China, and emphasising the overall development of the two countries.

The Indira Gandhi government approved an infrastructure and military upgrade plan prepared by then Army chief General KV Krishna Rao. The plan also included the sporadic deployment of the Indian armed forces along the LAC with China.

Another background to this plan was China’s push for infrastructure development in border and LAC areas putting pressure on Tawang, the Arunachal Pradesh district which China claimed as its own.

ADVERTISEMENT


An Indian soldier on the Indio-China border (File photo)
The Indira Gandhi government thought it pertinent to make sure that Tawang is defended if China made any move. Indian forces used to patrol the border regions but making sure that its permanent positions did not irk China.

In the summers of 1984, India erected an observational post on the bank of Sumdorong Chu, a river that flows along the India-China border for some distance. A special unit of the armed forces manned the post during the summers but vacated in the winters due to hostile weather conditions.

THE STANDOFF

Things took a turn in June 1986, when the Indian forces returned for their summer manning. They found a band of Chinese soldiers building some permanent structure. The message was relayed to the superiors and through them to New Delhi. India officially lodged a complaint with China, which denied intrusion.

By August the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ramped up its presence by deploying around 200 soldiers. The Chinese forces constructed a helipad in the area.

The Rajiv Gandhi government following the assassination of Indira Gandhi the new chief of the Indian Army General K Sunderji planned a truce offer. India suggested if China withdrew from Sumdorong Chu, India would not occupy the area next summer.

China flatly refused, prompting General Sunderji to come up with Operation Falcon. An entire brigade was airlifted to Zimithang, the nearest helipad. The Indian forces built-up pressure on the Chinese troops which had aggressive intent by occupying the Hathung La, across the Namka Chu from Thag La.

Soon there was a threat from Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping saying China would “teach India a lesson” just like 1962. The threat was met with India granting Arunachal Pradesh full statehood within two months, that is, in December 1986.

Things escalate further in 1987 summers, when the Chinese troops moved forward. China deployed some 20,000 soldiers. India too responded in equal measure. Troop’s buildup continued at the border in the first half of 1987, when India’s External Affairs Minister undertook a China visit to make a fresh attempt to defuse tension.

THE FINAL DISENGAGEMENT

Besides its Army divisions, India had moved the ground support and fighter-bomber aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to airfields in Assam and North Bengal. The careful strategy by General Sunderji resulted in Indian forces occupying a vantage position over the Chinese forces.

Sensing the futility of its military design, China invited Rajiv Gandhi for talks. Rajiv Gandhi toured China in 1988 in the middle of a military standoff. During Rajiv Gandhi’s visit, India and China agreed to reduce tension on the border and set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) to resolve boundary disputes.

The meetings of the JWG continued and so did the military standoff at Sumdorong Chu or Wangdung as the Chinese call it. The number of troops, however, from both sides reduced significantly.

ADVERTISEMENT

India and China signed an agreement in 1993 for “the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)”. Two years later in August 1995, the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops at Sumdorong Chu ended. Diplomacy coupled with military strategy by India forced China to agree to disengage and pull back.


https://www.indiatoday.in/india/sto...hat-took-9-years-to-defuse-1721734-2020-09-14
 

Figaro

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 17, 2017
5,113
8
8,981
Country
United States
Location
United States
This was 80s .
The no firearms use treaty was finalized in 1996.
Chinese became very brave after that.
Best not to trust treaties with some type of countries. They take pride in being devious and underhanded.
The Chinese would slap you guys so much harder if they had firearms lmao. You guys are at below 10 days of ammunition for your entire Army ... meanwhile the Chinese conduct massive live fire exercises on the Tibetan plateau numerous times every single week. Considering the Indians at Galwan could not even run straight as many ended up falling off cliffs or running into icy rivers, how will you guys shoot straight? :omghaha:
 

Dungeness

SENIOR MEMBER
Sep 21, 2015
6,277
1
17,872
Country
China
Location
United States
This was 80s .
The no firearms use treaty was finalized in 1996.
Chinese became very brave after that.
Best not to trust treaties with some type of countries. They take pride in being devious and underhanded.
I guess that's why Indian Army or ITBP dared to advanced to Finger 3 and set up a camp there in 2003.
 

Dark1

BANNED
Feb 29, 2020
884
-13
599
Country
India
Location
India
The Chinese would slap you guys so much harder if they had firearms lmao. You guys are at below 10 days of ammunition for your entire Army ... meanwhile the Chinese conduct massive live fire exercises on the Tibetan plateau numerous times every single week. Considering the Indians at Galwan could not even run straight as many ended up falling off cliffs or running into icy rivers, how will you guys shoot straight? :omghaha:
The Chinese ? Are you ashamed of being associated with them ? Dont blame you if you are .
 

sinait

SENIOR MEMBER
Oct 22, 2016
3,197
-9
7,019
Country
Singapore
Location
Singapore
The Chinese ? Are you ashamed of being associated with them ? Dont blame you if you are .
Indian education is FAILING its citizens.
Whether its the education or their IQ82 is up for debate though.

@Figaro refering to "The Chinese" just as Australians will refer "The US".
I don't see White Australians calling themselves Americans and you wouldn't know the difference until the Australian starts to speak.
I am sure White Australians will adamantly support the US against China unconditionally.

You must be BUTT HURT that some Americans don't support India after so much BOOT LICKING for the US by Indians.
.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top