As the stand-off between India and China along the western sector of Line of actual control (LAC) continues, both countries have been engaged in negotiations at the military and diplomatic levels. But even after both sides have already met multiple times to look for a way out but there seems no change in the on-ground situation. Now the latest development, as reported by the Economic Times, indicates that China has proposed that Indian forces be withdrawn to finger 2 as a pre-condition to Chinese troops withdrawing to finger 6.

The demand seems unacceptable to the Indian side its claims go beyond finger 4 up to finger 8. Let us break down finger areas.

Finger Areas near Pangong Lake

Finger Areas are referred to as a set of eight cliffs jutting out of the Sirijap range that overlooks the Pangong Lake. The Indian side claims the land till finger 8 and China claims it till finger 4. Armies of both the countries would patrol the land between finger 4 and finger 8 till the Chinese side unilaterally changed the status quo last month and erected camps near finger 4.

Pangong Tso lake
Pangong Tso lake.Twitter

Now, China is offering to withdraw to finger 6 if India agrees to withdraw to finger 2. If India agrees to the demand it would mean China taking control till point 4 without firing a single shot of bullet. The demand seems irrational to India which is affecting the de-escalation. This is the classical example of 'Salami slicing' where China grabs more and more land from its neighboring countries. In military jargon, the term salami-slicing is designated as a strategy that involves divide and conquers the process of threats and alliances to overcome opposition and acquire new territories.

Chinese PLA Tibet Military Command drills
The night time high altitude drill by PLA has come amid the ongoing border standoff with India in Ladakh.Image Source:

It is conducted by grabbing part by part of the neighboring territory. Over the last few years, China has been using these tactics to lay its claim in the South China Sea and Himalayan region. Although there have been talks on the table there has been a little change on the ground. In fact, multiple satellite images have shown that China has ramped up defenses in all the areas of recent stand-off.