Chinese army increases helicopter activities along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh

Representative Image of Chinese Army conducting high altitude drills in the region.

As efforts to address the border dispute in Eastern Ladakh between India and China continue, the Chinese Army has increased the activities of its helicopters on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Chinese chopper activity has gone up significantly in the last seven to eight days on their side of the LAC. The reason may be to provide assistance to its troops deployed on various locations along the LAC, reported Times of India.

The Chinese chopper fleet operating there includes both the Mi-17s and their local medium-lift choppers, sources said.

In the last few months, China has been extensively using choppers to fly around Indian locations in the Eastern Ladakh sector including the Galwan area.

In the Galwan area, their choppers had even come above our locations and hovered over a road construction site there on one occasion recently, the sources said.

Earlier, Chinese Media reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has organized a large-scale maneuver operation featuring thousands of paratroopers plus armored vehicles to the country’s high-altitude northwestern region over a long distance from Central China’s Hubei Province amid border tensions between China and India.

Chinese media had also reported claiming that “although calls for boycotting Chinese products have grown in India over the past weeks, Indians can hardly resist Chinese products”.

The report in Global Times China also said that the calls for boycotting Chinese products like smartphones and mobile applications are a ploy by nationalists in India to “defame and smear China”.

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

Talks at a military level have resulted in an agreement with both looking to resolve the situation peacefully, as per Indian news channel NDTV.

The talks were requested by India and were held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Saturday.

Earlier, 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.

As field-level talks to lower tensions along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh had been inconclusive, the Indian Army had 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.”

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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