India is surprised to see the Chinese army crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in East Ladakh and encroaching into the Hot Spring, as these are two areas that have never been disputed between the two countries. These two regions are not disputed like Pangong Tso. Both these areas are not among the 23 disputed areas which were identified by the Government of India after the acceptance of LAC in 1993.
Of the 23 disputed areas in the LAC, 11 are marked under the western region of Ladakh, four in the central region, and eight in the eastern region. Most of these areas were identified in several meetings of the India-China Joint Working Groups (JWG) in the 1990s, during negotiations between the two sides. They were identified in 2000 during the exchange of maps for the central region and in 2002 by comparison of maps for the western region.
The current tension between the two forces is about Galvan and Hot Spring, who is not in the list of 23 disputed areas. An official said, “China’s action is a little surprising for both sides considering Galvan and Hot Spring to be ‘set-up areas'”. If we had already, we would have been ready to answer in a better way.
The officer said so because it was never identified as a disputed area. The official said, “The hot spring sector has been an ITBP sector. In 2015 China was seen digging the track using a JCB near PP14. Then India confiscated their equipment. Later some people of the Chinese army came to us and accepted that they were on Indian soil. After that, we returned their equipment. “