India reinforces flashpoint area as China holds ground: sources

Indian fighter planes roared over a flashpoint Himalayan region as part of a strength demonstration on Wednesday after military sources said the area was being fought over in China.
Chinese forces have held onto a square mile of land at the mouth of the Galwan Valley after a fatal brawl on June 15, Indian military sources told AFP.
The two sides publicly stated that they would withdraw after the clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a battle with stones and nailed truncheons.
But both maintained troops in the valley, with India deploying more forces and trying to project military power.
Indian jets took off regularly from a military base in Leh, the most important Indian city in the competitive region, on Wednesday and headed for the mountain border 240 kilometers away.
There were also checkpoints on the main streets outside Leh and a frenzied military activity around the capital, which is at 3,500 meters.
Residents reported long lines of military trucks and artillery on streets near Leh.
"We now have good strength in the region," an official from the Indian Army's Northern Command said to AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to the reinforcements.
Tashi Chhepal, a retired Indian army captain who has served in the region and is based in Leh, said the mobilization was unprecedented in a sensitive region that affects both Pakistan and China.
"I've never seen this type of military movement before," he told AFP.
- China wins -
After the last round of talks between military commanders on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Zhao Lijian said the two sides had "agreed to take the necessary measures to cool the situation down."
But they made similar comments after a fist fight in May that proved to be a warm-up for the medieval battle at Galwan.
Images taken by the US satellite company Maxar on Sunday showed trucks and huts in camps on the river at an altitude of 4,500 meters near the scene of the fighting. It was not clear whose army they were.
The two countries waged a border war in 1962, but fighting this month was their deadliest encounter in 53 years.
According to Indian military sources, Chinese troops raided Indian soldiers and forced them onto a ridge they had walked on to remove a Chinese "interference".
A bilateral agreement prevented the use of weapons, but the fighting was still fierce, with reports of stones and truncheons wrapped in barbed wire.
China, on the other hand, has accused Indian soldiers of crossing the line of actual control, the unofficial border, twice to provoke its troops.
But the Chinese seem to be sticking to their achievements in Galwan and nearby Pangong Tso Lake, police secret services and military sources said AFP.
China now claims the valley as its own, in statements that India has rejected.
- Lesson learned -
Indian analysts doubt that tensions will ease significantly or that India will regain territory.
Harsh Pant of the Observer Research Foundation think tank in New Delhi said: "Everything the Chinese are saying now cannot be brought down to face value. Hopefully India has now learned its lessons."
According to media reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government may make it more difficult for Chinese companies to do business in a bid to boycott Chinese goods.
However, analysts say that both sides recognize that their economies need each other.
"There may be short-term public backlashes against China in India, but Pakistan is publicly flooding China as a perceived threat," said Vipin Narang, a security specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"The effects of this crisis, even if it is slowly burning, can only be short-lived in the Indian public. And cheap TVs are still cheap TVs."

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