Lanak Pass is on the southeastern boundary of Aksai Chin
|Elevation||5,466 m (17,933 ft)|
The Lanak La or Lanak Pass (la means pass in Tibetan and North Indian languages) is a mountain pass in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is on the southeastern boundary of the Aksai Chin region that is controlled by China but disputed by India.
India regards Lanak La as its boundary with China, while China considers the Kongka Pass further west as the boundary. Lanak La is a well-established frontier point between Ladakh and Tibet confirmed by travellers from William Moorcroft in 1820 onwards. There are substantial Kashmiri Government records for the area of the Chang Chenmo valley between the Lanak and Kongka passes. In addition to the revenue records, 1908 Ladakh Settlement Report, reports of several survey teams, the Jammu and Kashmir Game Preservation Act of 1951, there are Kashmiri documents relating to the construction and maintenance of trade routes, rest houses, and storehouses in the Chang Chenmo valley. All of them placed the entire valley up to the Lanak Pass within Ladakh. Indian sources cite travellers in the employment of British India who wrote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the traditional boundary between India and Tibet was at Lanak La. However, American scholar Larry Wortzel states that the traditional border lay at the Kongka Pass.
Indian sources state that there were no Chinese troops in the area in 1952, that the Indian army patrolled up to Lanak La until 1958, and there was an Indian flag planted there until 1956.
In October 1959, Indian troops crossed the Kongka Pass in an attempt to establish posts on Lanak La. This resulted in a clash with the Chinese soldiers posted at Kongka. The incident preceded the Sino-Indian War in 1962.
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