New Delhi: Chinese troops, who have intruded almost 19 kms into the Indian territory in Ladakh, may never leave the area. According to assessments by senior government and intelligence officials China's People's Liberation Army soldiers camped in Raki Nullah in eastern Ladakh may never go back across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Sources say China may have initiated the intrusion to see how India would react on the ground. Until now India's response has been only diplomatic even though it has been 15 days since the Chinese soldiers simply walked over to the Indian side and set up tents. Theerer has been no military action by the Indian side.
They say India has no leverage to get them to return as any military action by India now carries the risk of the Chinese escalating the issue. If India camps in Chinese territory then China could occupy more Indian areas close to the LAC as it has far more forces at its disposal than India.
So India may be wary of surrounding the Chinese camp and cutting off their supplies. This manoeuvre should have been carried out at the beginning of the face-off.
The Chinese could declare their intention to resolve the face-off during the visit of the Chinese premier Li Keqiang in May. But that would only underscore India's own weakness on the ground and may set the stage for more Chinese provocations.