On Dec. 16, Chinese soldiers entered the Indian Territory of Cakzung dressed in civilian clothes. The invasion was caught on video, which went viral on Indian social media. Cakzung is a winter grazing pasture in the region of Ladakh in northern India. The area covers the Nyoma constituency in the trans-Himalayan Indian region of Ladakh. Dokpa, also known as nomads, migrate for pastures with their goats, sheep, yaks, and horses, which is a tradition and it also forms part of their livelihood.
Konchok Stanzin, a native from a nearby village, noted that his own Changpa tribe hadn’t visited the Cakzung region for many years, which was due to livestock disease. However, this year, when they went over to graze the animals, they were confronted by the Chinese who blocked them. “They said: ‘You can’t be here because you didn’t come here in the last few years.’ But this is our area, so why can’t we go there?”
Stanzin said that similar blocks had happened earlier as well. “Deployment of soldiers is continuing on both sides of the border, even today,” Stanzin told The Epoch Times.
“Chinese [authorities] encourage their nomads to move forward and our grazing areas have reduced in recent years,” he said. He added that the Indian nomads reported the Dec. 16 incident to the army, and when the Indian administration approached the site, the Chinese fled.
The tranquil life of Changpa nomads has been adversely affected by driving Chinese incursions in recent times. The community’s existence depends on migration, livestock, and animal husbandry. They are well-known to be the producers of world-class quality pashmina, also known as spun cashmere. But this has been disrupted due to border tensions.
Livestock remains the Nomad’s only property
“Livestock need grassland. Due to heavy deployment (of the Chinese) the grazing area is reduced as nomads are not being allowed to move to their seasonal pastures. This summer there was also little rainfall. Now the grasslands don’t have enough grass. The winters are also very difficult for the nomads. Livestock is Changpas’ only property. This impacts their income,” Stanzin told The Epoch Times.
Geopolitical analyst Dr. Brahma Chellaney said that Beijing is deploying its South China Sea tactic in India’s mountainous terrains. The Chinese Regime often sends fishermen into deep areas of the South China Sea in order to stake a claim in the waters.
”Like it used fishermen in the South China Sea, China uses civilian resources — herders and grazers — as the tip of the spear to intrude into Indian-patrolled Himalayan areas,” he told NDTV. In both situations, civilian resources are being used by the communist regime for their expansionist agenda. Chellaney said that communist China is settling Han ethnic people and Tibetans loyal to the CCP along India’s borders to strengthen its territorial claim.
India-China skirmishes escalated this year as soldiers from both sides engaged in aggressive melee in May. In June, another violent conflict led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and 43 Chinese.
In August and September, Indian troops took control of multiple vantage points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Retaliating against Chinese aggressiveness, the Indian government banned more than 200 Chinese apps that include those made by China’s tech giants Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance.
Xi Jinping recently removed General Zhao Zongqi from his post as the Commander of the Western Theater for his involvement in the seven-month-long military standoff with India. He was replaced with General Zhang Xudong, who is inexperienced in matters taking place on the Indian border.
The Indian Army has identified 20 sensitive spots along the Line of Actual Control that have a strong possibility of more Chinese incursions once the winter season ends and the snow melts. Reinforcements from the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will soon be sent to these 20 spots.
“Considering the ground situation and palpable tension along the LAC, the Indian Army does not want to further lose territory to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Intelligence reports have suggested that the Chinese troops are planning incursions at the 20 sensitive spots inside India-claimed lines once the winter is over.
Meantime, both the army and the ITBP are building new border posts and are also planning to bolster operational and infrastructure capabilities at these 20 spots along the LAC to prevent any such incursion,” a security official told The Telegraph.
At present, India has deployed 50,000 troops in various locations in Ladakh. China has also stationed a comparable amount of troops on its side of the border.