Conflict

China doubled its airbases, air defences and heliports along India border in 3 years: Report

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New Delhi: Over the past three years, China has doubled its total number of airbases, air defence positions and heliports near the Indian border.

Quoting details of Chinese expansion from Stratfor, a leading global geopolitical intelligence platform, a report by NDTV, outlines China’s military-infrastructure build-up through a detailed analysis of satellite images of military facilities that have a direct bearing on India’s security.

“The timing of the Chinese build-up of military facilities along the border with India just prior to the ongoing Ladakh standoff suggests these border tensions are part of a much larger effort by China to assert control over its border regions,” the report quoted Sim Tack, a Senior Global Analyst with Stratfor as having said.

Significantly, China’s upgrade of its military infrastructure is far from complete. “The expansion and construction of military infrastructure are in most cases still underway, so the Chinese military activity that we are seeing along the border with India today is only the beginning of a longer-term intent,” the report says.

The consequences of this for India, which has been involved in a violent face-off with China in eastern Ladakh since early May, seem clear. ”Once finished, this infrastructure will provide support for an even greater intensity of Chinese operations.”

According to the report, China has ”started constructing at least 13 entirely new military positions near its borders with India”.

This includes three airbases, five permanent air defence positions and five heliports. ”Construction on four of those new heliports started only after the onset of the current Ladakh crisis in May,” it says.

Chinese military expansion along India-frontier includes the creation of air bases, electronic warfare facilities, heliports and air defence sites.

China’s military build-up along the India frontier, the report says, is part of a bigger strategy similar to its goals in the South China Sea where Beijing has dredged land around tiny coral atolls to develop full-fledged airbases and Naval facilities.

India and China continue talks at multiple levels to try and disengage forces along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The latest round of talks between Generals of both sides which began on Mondo near Moldo on the South Bank of the Pangong Lake lasted approximately 13 hours.

Reports later claimed that “talks between the two countries could not cover all the points of contentions” and the commanders of India and China military are expected to meet again in a few days, reports claimed.

Quoting government sources, a report published by a Delhi based newspaper Hindustan Times, described the nature of talks as “complex” with each side holding its ground but agreeing that India and PLA needed to completely disengage to ensure peace in border areas.

“We will need at least two more rounds of talks at the military-diplomatic level before a consensus on disengagement exercise is reached,” the report quoted a senior official as having said.

Now, amid the standoff, reports claim that Chinese armed forces personnel have “blocked at least 10 patrolling points” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

On Thursday, the Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh informed Rajya Sabha that face-offs with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) happened because “patrols were interrupted.”

There was no commonly delineated LAC and there was an overlap in LAC’s perception in many areas, he noted.

 

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