Chinese army constructing helipads, increasing troops in Pangong as buildup in Ladakh continues
The activity is a sign of consolidating current positions and showing no intention of going back
With more military buildup in Ladakh, the situation does not look like it is going to deescalate anytime soon. The Chandigarh airbase, the Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster is airlifting precious cargo to Ladakh. Its T–90 tank weighs 46 tonnes and a one-way trip will cost over Rs 10 lakh, as per News18.
From across army cantonments and airbases in North India, troops, artillery guns, mechanised infantry, air surveillance radars, frontline fighter jets and helicopters have been moving to Ladakh for the last one month.
All three advanced landing grounds – DBO, Fukche and Nyoma – have been activated. So have all forward airbases facing China.
Navy’s multitasker, the P-8I, is in the sky keeping an eye on Chinese movement. Patrolling has been tightened at 65 points along the 1597-km border that Ladakh shares with China.
This war-like build up necessitated as Indian and Chinese soldiers continue to be eyeball to eyeball at the Line of Actual Control at Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, Depsang Plains and Pangong Tso in Ladakh and at Naku La in North Sikkim.
The Chinese army has started consolidating its positions in the Pangong Tso area, Indian Express has reported.
As per the report the Chinese are constructing a helipad at Finger 4 and has increased troops on the southern banks of Pangong Tso. The Indian Express while quoting an unnamed official reported, “the Chinese are telling us that they have no intention of going back or restoring the status quo as in April.
Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a stalemate in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley.
As the Indo-China military and diplomatic dialogue about Line of Actual Control (LAC) tension continues, China has also sharply increased increased its troops and weaponry along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, according to a report by Times Now.
And now China has reportedly started creating trouble for Indian patrols in the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area between patrolling points 10 and 13 and the Demchok region in eastern Ladakh.
The development comes after India and China agreed to start the process of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
As talks between India and China were ongoing, Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry on Wednesday accused India of breaking the June 6 agreement, and claimed India had agreed to not patrol in the valley or build facilities there, reported The Hindu.
This came after the military commanders of India and China had reportedly arrived at a consensus on ‘outstanding issues’ and have agreed to take measures to cool down the situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
However, tensions are high between India and China as the Government of India has given powers to the armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves amid tension building up on the LAC.
Air Force assets, including fighters, have been moved up to forward locations.
Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese action
Economic Times had reported that the government did not want to leave anything to chance at this stage, especially after the violence in Galwan which left atleast 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi has said that the ‘sacrifices of soldiers’ along the border with China will not go in vain. India wants peace but is capable of giving befitting reply, if instigated, he said.
The external affairs ministry has said the escalation in Galwan Valley of Ladakh happened “as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”.
China has accused India of crossing the border and attacking Chinese personnel, and called on India to “not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble.”
The armies of India and China are locked in a tense standoff at three points in eastern Ladakh, wherein China has reportedly occupied 60 sq. kilometres of territory claimed by India.
A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh has said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.
The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir.
When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.
This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.” This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.
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