China

As talks fail, China establishes 5G connectivity along LAC, builds roads while maintaining military presence

As multiple levels of talks seem to have failed, China has now reportedly been establishing 5G Internet connectivity in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), building roads while maintaining strong military presence.

In Ladakh China has established high speed connectivity, including the setting up of 5G network near Demchok and fresh constructions at the Pangong Lake.

New construction is also ongoing in Pangong, where Chinese troop continue to hold strategic positions. New huts and sheds have come up even amid the talks for disengagement.

Deployment of Chinese troops also continues along the LAC, as the Indian Army has increased its deployment by three times. The India Army is reportedly set to continue with the additional troops even in peak winter.

“The deployment will depend on constant reviews. Till there is no change in the situation the enhanced deployment will continue,” said an Army official.

There have been several deliberations to decide the future strategy if the Chinese don’t move back. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat has also said if talks fail, India will think of military options.

New construction of laterals providing alternate roads to the existing roads in areas bordering Ladakh is happening at a fast pace. This will shorten the duration and facilitate quicker troop mobilisation for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Laterals are roads connecting two avenues used by forces for their movement.

As New Delhi claims that both India and China will “continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement” of armed forces personnel, talks aimed at resolving the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, has so far yielded no results.

The armies of India and China are locked in a tense standoff in eastern Ladakh, where 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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