Needless to say, any ingress by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into India-controlled territory will be small-scale, shallow in depth and of a temporary nature, primarily due to the vagaries of the weather, with the commencement of winter snowfall throughout the LAC from November ensuring that the PLA is unable to stay put in a dug-in manner between now and November. The following slides illustrate the likely ingress areas and the locations of India’s quick-reaction military detachments and logistics bases.
Back in mid-2001, I was a witness to a PLA Army ‘transgression’ in the Taksin area of Arunachal Pradesh, which was then manned by a Battalion of the Gorkha Rifles. A 1,400-strong PLA Army contingent, comprising only 360 armed personnel and the rest comprising buglers and drum-beaters all waving China’s red-coloured flags, rolled in well past 3am in the morning and formed an arc around GHORA OP. At dawn, when the PLA’s presence was fully assessed, the Indian Army decided to respond in kind later that night. Meanwhile, throughout the day, the buglers and drum-beaters were playing tunes of Bollywood songs. Well past mid-night, the Gorkha Battalion began redeploying to the immediate surrounding mountain ridges as part of an outflanking move. By dawn, the PLA infantrymen were being stared down by the fully armed Gorkhas sitting on dominating high ground. Soon a white-colour flare was fired by the surrounded PLA contingent below, and the Indian Army immediately reciprocated (this being the signal for accepting the PLA’s request for a flag meeting. An Indian Army contingent comprising some 20 personnel—led by a Brigadier—and accompanied by an official of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) came within 200 metres of the Senior Colonel who was leading the PLA contingent. The Senior Colonel through hand-signals requested the Brigadier to come over to the area where the PLA contingent was camping. The Brigadier responded by signaling through his hands that the meeting ought to be held in the mid-point. The Senior Colonel agreed and as he started advancing forward, the soldiers behind him started retracing a few of their steps backward. When the two contingent commanders were face-to-face, not a word was exchanged and all that the Senior Colonel did was to unfurl a poster attached to a flagstaff, which said in English: YOU ARE IN CHINESE TERRITORY. PLEASE WITHDRAW. Without waiting for an answer, he next beckoned some of his subordinates to come forward who bore giveaways like woollen blankets and winter clothing. They laid these on the ground and without uttering a word, the entire contingent began withdrawing back to China-controlled territory. Needless to say, the standoff was over, having lasted less than 18 hours, and the entire stockpile of giveaways was subsequently distributed among the local inhabitants of Taksin with the compliments of the Indian Army.