PLA opens three fronts in South China Sea to distract the world from Ladakh

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Post the military flare-up at Galwan Valley, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has mobilised four out of five of its military theatre commands with reports suggesting that live firing drills and exercises from the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea to the South China Sea to date were a distraction for its calculated aggression in Ladakh.

While both India and China have still to finalise the dates of military commanders’ meeting with each asking for postponement once, PLA is continuing to build-up along the 1,597-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector. After the India and China foreign ministers’ meeting on September 10 in Moscow, a decision was taken to ask the military commanders to implement the total disengagement and then de-escalation agreement on the ground. The two sides are still to fix a mutually convenient date for the meeting but is expected in this week.

It is understood that the meetings at the corps commanders’ level will restrict itself to disengagement of forces post-April and the Depsang Bulge issue will be taken up at a separate divisional commanders’ level.

According to a report in Nikkei Asian Review, PLA has mobilised its Southern Theatre Command, which oversees the South China Sea, Northern Theatre Command, which overseas Korean Peninsula, and Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees arch-rivals Japan and Taiwan. The newspaper said that just like the Chinese annexed Tibet in 1950s against the backdrop of its intervention in the Korean war, the present mobilisation was a distraction for a real stand-off in the Karakoram-Zanskar ranges of Himalayas. For the Ladakh operations, PLA’s western theatre command has been fully mobilized with military districts of Xinjiang and Tibet fully involved in the aggression.

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