Pangong Tso lake

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News:Indian and Chinese Army soldiers were engaged in a face-off near the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh.

Facts:

About Pangong Tso lake:

  • Pangong Tso is a long narrow landlocked lake situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas.
  • The brackish water lake freezes over in winter and becomes ideal for ice skating and polo.
  • One-third of the lake which is around 45km is in Indian control while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control.

Significance of the lake:

  • The lake does not have major tactical significance.But it lies in the path of the Chushul approach, one of the main approaches that China can use for an offensive into Indian-held territory. 

India-China Dispute:

  • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) cuts through the lake but India and China do not agree on its exact location.
  • In 1999,when the Army unit from the area was moved to Kargil for Operation Vijay,China took the opportunity to build 5 km of road inside Indian Territory along the lake’s bank.
  • Hence,most of the clashes between the two armies occur in the disputed portion of the lake.