India and China are engaged in a stand-off since April-May over the transgressions by the PLA in multiple areas including Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs and Kongrung Nala. The talks between the two sides have been going on for the last three months including five Lieutenant general-level talks but have failed to yield any results, so far. The Pangong Lake area has been witnessing simmering tensions between India and China with the latter trying to change the status quo in the region. India is the dominant power in this region where Chinese forces are trying to get control. On the intervening night of August 29 and 30, the alert Indian side thwarted Chinese troop's attempt to control this part.

In his show DNA, Sudhir Chaudhary explains why India's control over the southern part of Pangong Lake is the cause of China's biggest problem. The Indian troop is sitting high on the peaks on the southern edge of the Pangong Lake, while the Chinese army is stationed in the lower reaches. The land around the southern shore is flatter and wider compared to the northern edge of the Pangong Lake. This makes it easier for the Indian Army to reach Ladakh and the Chushul Valley. The roads that pass through the mountains are up to 16,000 feet high and the Indian Army has established its control over the 'Black Top' here and the road connecting Chushul and Durbuk-Surek and Daulat Beg Oldie can be monitored through this 'Black Top'. It is pertinent to mention that the same area was also at the centre of the India and China War in 1962.

The border tensions between India and China are because of the overlapping claims and traditional differences of both the countries over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which runs through Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The LAC has never really been demarcated, however, the boundary in the Sikkim sector is broadly agreed upon though not delineated. The LAC is basically ambiguous and gets out of control when patrols encounter each other in the zones where each lay its claim.

The finger area of the Pangong Lake has long been the bone of contention between the two armies. The Chinese army has occupied the area from Finger 4 to finger 8 for the past several months. On the southern side, India has also tried to respond to the finger area.

Had the Chinese army occupied the 'Black Top' on the night of August 29, China could have kept a close watch on the entire Chushul sector. However, the alert Indian side responded well in time to foil China's intention. The area has a number of essential military infrastructure, including the Indian Army's runway, and the area is so flat and wide that large tanks and guns can easily be deployed here.

Capturing the southern edge of the Pangong Lake will also give India an advantage that can compel China to retreat from the Finger, Depsang and Gogra areas.

India does not want to repeat the mistakes it made in 1962, so it has already strengthened its position in those areas, sensing China's move. It is not only the area around Ladakh that is the trouble spot but the 3,500-km border that India shares with China.