Black Top is extremely vital to the defence of Chushul, very similar to Rezang La & Rechin La

Intrude when no one's looking, capture some land, set up military posts in the illegally occupied areas, alter boundaries, change names, and then claim this part has historically been with them. This is the standard operating procedure for China while provoking its neighbours.

Soon after Indian troops occupied the strategically important Black Top after thwarting Chinese advances, the latter's mouthpiece "Global Times" started cribbing about how India has "crossed the line". All this while, the ministry of foreign affairs maintained that India never crossed the Line of Actual Control.

"We must warn India seriously: You have crossed the line! Your frontline troops have crossed the line! Your nationalist public opinion has crossed the line! Your policy toward China has crossed the line! You are over-confidently provoking the PLA and Chinese people - this is like doing a handstand on the edge of a cliff!" the "Global Times" kept on whining.

China's Name Game

In the 1950s and 60s, China changed the names of Tibet and East Turkestan to Xizang (Western Tsang) and Xinjiang (New Frontier) respectively. Now, it has its eyes on Black Top.

A statement issued by the People's Liberation Army's Western Theatre Command spokesperson Col Zhang Shuili indicated that India had entered "Shenpao Shan" area, south of flashpoint Pangong Tso.

This is the first time China used "Shenpao Shan" instead of "Heiding", which means "Black Top" and gives away the mountain's ownership to the Indian side. China used the new name "Shenpao Shan" which means "Vulcan Mountain" in an effort to change ownership of the mountain to Beijing.

Why Black Top Is Vital

India Today OSINT team had earlier exposed Chinese deceit of constructing a road at the Black Top mountain base. This was a grave provocation by the PLA to which the Indian Army reacted swiftly and occupied dominating heights in the vicinity.

Black Top is an area extremely vital to the defence of Chushul, very similar to Rezang La and Rechin La. The advantageous position occupied by the Indian Army has put PLA on the back foot in the entire sector, making their posts untenable in case of war.

Caution Needed

However, the area being crucial to China, PLA would certainly try to occupy it again and again. Latest satellite images from September 1 indicate another road being constructed by China along with a few tents on its side.

The Indian security apparatus must be extremely cautious not to let its guards down and retain the vital area. China might try similar intrusions elsewhere, which again needs to be blocked by better use of satellite imagery.