India has deployed an additional 50,000 troops along its border with China, Bloomberg has reported.
The redeployment, which has taken place over the past few months, has brought the number of Indian Army soldiers deployed at the border to 200,000 — a 40 percent increase from last year — the outlet added, citing four unnamed sources.
The additional personnel includes an estimated 20,000 soldiers who were engaged in counter-terrorism operations in the politically sensitive territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The troop relocation in three areas along the border has accompanied the transfer of additional fighter squadrons.
The development unfolds as corps commander-level talks between the two nations failed to end a deadlock after the two armies pulled back their troops from the disputed Pangong Lake area in February.
Talks began about a subsequent disengagement of troops and restoration of the pre-April 2020 status quo in disputed places along the eastern Ladakh region of the Himalayas.
Multiple rounds of talks, however, failed to produce any concrete outcome.
‘Offensive Defensive’ Military Posture
Bloomberg claims that the redeployment has changed the Indian Army’s defensive posture, geared towards blocking a People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) offensive, into an “offensive-defensive” one, giving Indian army commanders more options to “attack and seize territory in China if necessary.”
The exact number of Chinese troops along the Indian border is unclear, but recently the PLA reportedly deployed new weapons to the Xinjiang Military Command against the Indian Army.
The systems include armored vehicles and artillery pieces, the latest field air defense missile system, and a 122-millimeter multiple rocket launcher system, Beijing-controlled Global Times reported.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reacted to a question about the Indian troop redeployment Monday, saying: “The current situation on the border between China and India is generally stable, and the two sides are negotiating to resolve relevant border issues.
“In this context, the words, deeds, and military deployments of relevant military and political leaders should help ease the situation and increase mutual trust between the two sides, not the other way around.”