Chinese fighter jets flying 30 kms from Eastern Ladakh as border tensions with India escalate

On May 12, two IAF jets were also in the region when two Chinese military helicopters were detected

Movement of Chinese fighter aircraft flying around 30 kms from Eastern Ladakh has been reported amid tense standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to New Delhi based India Today 10-12 Chinese fighter aircraft have been stationed at the PLA Air Force bases in Hotan and Gargunsa, close to the Eastern Ladakh area.

“Chinese have kept 10-12 each of their J-7 and J-11 fighter aircraft which are flying up to 30 kms of our territory. Though the distance maintained from the border is not threatening but we can’t take chances as they can come close to our areas within minutes,” the sources said.

Sources in intelligence agencies, meanwhile, said all gaps in surveillance capabilities have been plugged and a close watch is being kept on the Chinese air bases in the vicinity of Eastern Ladakh.

Earlier on May 12, two frontline Sukhoi-30MKI jets of IAF were also in the region when two Chinese military helicopters were detected flying close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during the clash between the ground troops in the Pangong Tso sector on May 5 and 6.

The Government of India has planned to take 12,000 migrant workers to the China border to complete infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, amid tensions between the two nuclear armed nations.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded its specialised high-altitude arsenal of weapons since the 2017 Doklam standoff with India to prepare for future conflicts, a state media report said.

The listing of new weapons, which could be specifically used against Indian troops by the Communist Party of China (CPC)-controlled news outlet comes in the backdrop of new tensions at the border, Hindustan Times reported.

These developments come in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Indian army troops were flown to eastern Ladakh to strengthen security along the disputed Line of Actual Control, amid reports that Chinese soldiers have transgressed 3-5 km into territory claimed by India near the Pangong Lake, sources in the security establishment told The Telegraph.

“Troops are being flown to eastern Ladakh and deployed at the three standoff locations,” an Intelligence Bureau official was quoted as saying.

As field-level talks to lower tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh remain inconclusive, the Indian Army has increased its presence in Uttarakhand.

Chinese President Xi Jinping directed China’s armed forces to strengthen training of troops and to be ready for war amid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic’s visible impact on the world’s most populous country’s national security.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi too held a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs with a focus on bolstering India’s military preparedness to deal with external security challenges, government sources said.

Satellite images show massive construction activity at a high altitude Chinese air base, located just 200 kilometres away from the Pangong Lake, the site of the skirmish between forces of India and China on May 5 and May 6.

Earlier, reports said that the Chinese Army in a recent stand-off with the Indian forces in the Pangosg Tso lake area in Eastern Ladakh sector used sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones to target Indian security forces’ soldiers there.

According to sources, quoted by News Agency ANI, “the behaviour of the Chinese has been like the Pakistan-backed stone-pelters who use stones and sticks to target Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley.”

“The Chinese troops came armed with sticks, clubs with barbed wires and stones in an area near the Pangong Tso lake during a face-off with Indian troops there,” sources told ANI.

There are close to 10,000 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Indian territory, reports have claimed.

The report said that dialogue is frozen, with the Chinese rebuffing Indian calls for flag meetings to resolve the situation.

Earlier, reports claimed that the Chinese troops have reportedly “come about three kilometres inside Indian territory” South East of the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

China and India have been locked in a standoff with each other in eastern Ladakh, where the deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent fist-fight on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to “disengage” following a meeting at the level of local commanders.

In the midst of the escalating tension, Army Chief General MM Naravane paid a quiet visit to the headquarters of 14 Corps in Leh on May 22 and reviewed with the top commanders the overall security scenario in the region including in the disputed areas along the LAC — the de-facto border between India and China.

China has also decided to evacuate its citizens in India.


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