Context:

During the 11th round of discussions between the senior military commanders of India and China to resolve the over 11-month long standoff in eastern Ladakh – there are reports that China had refused to vacate two of the four original friction points -Hot Springs & Gogra Post.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India and its neighborhood, Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are PP15 and 17A?
  2. Where are Hot Springs & Gogra Post?
  3. What is the importance of this region?

What are PP15 and 17A?

  • Along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India in China, Indian Army has been given certain locations that its troops have to access to patrol the area under its control. These points are known as patrolling points, or PPs, and are decided by the China Study Group (CSG).
  • CSG was set-up in 1976, when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister, and is the apex decision-making body on China.
  • Barring certain areas, like Depsang Plains, these patrolling points are on the LAC, and troops access these points to assert their control over the territory. It is an important exercise since the boundary between India and China is not yet officially demarcated.
  • PP15 and PP17A are two of the 65 patrolling points in Ladakh along the LAC.

Where are Hot Springs & Gogra Post?

  • Both of these are close to the Chang Chenmo river in the Galwan sub-sector of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. While Hot Springs is just north of the Chang Chenmo river, Gogra Post is east of the point where the river takes a hairpin bend coming southeast from Galwan Valley and turning southwest.
  • The area is north of the Karakoram Range of mountains, which lies north of the Pangong Tso lake, and south east of Galwan Valley, which became a major flashpoint and a violent faceoff in June 2020 had left 20 Indian and at least four Chinese troops dead.

What is the importance of this region?

  • The area lies close to Kongka Pass, one of the main passes, which, according to China marks the boundary between India and China.
  • India’s claim of the international boundary lies significantly east, as it includes the entire Aksai Chin area as well.
  • Hot Springs and Gogra Post are close to the boundary between two of the most historically disturbed provinces (Xinjiang and Tibet) of China.
  • Both PP15 and PP17A are in an area where India and China largely agree on the alignment of the LAC, which comes southeast from Galwan Valley, turns down at Konga La and moves towards Ann Pass before reaching the north bank of Pangong Tso.
  • China has a major post of the People’s Liberation Army a few km east of Kongka La, while Indian posts lie southwest of it.

-Source: Indian Express

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