China appears to have built 10 new air-bases along LAC, says Indian Home Ministry

PLA holds live-fire drills in Tibet 'aimed at China-India border'. [FPK File Photo.]

China appears to have built at least 10 new airbases along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, besides ramping up infrastructure at its exiting airbases close to the Indian frontier, the Telegraph on Monday reported quoting an official from the Indian Home Ministry.

The official has also said that the Chinese army earlier built additional military camps as well as watchtowers with CCTV cameras atop them inside India-claimed lines in Ladakh to monitor Indian troop deployment.

“This has strengthened the suspicion that the china have been using the time afforded by the ongoing talks with India to buttress their positions in the ‘occupied’ Zones in Ladakh,” the report further added.

“It’s a matter of extreme concern the way they have been ramping up their military and air force infrastructure close to the LAC and also inside the occupied zones,” the security official told Telegraph.

As per the report, India’s military veterans have also suspected that China wants to establish a new status quo at the LAC, claiming the territory occupied since May last year as its own.

On the strategically crucial Depsang Plains, the Chinese are said to be entrenched 18km inside India-claimed lines.

Quoting an Indian Defence Ministry official, the Telegraph also reported that the the defence’s top brass have been conducting regular meetings to discuss infrastructure and capability development along the LAC.

The sources further revealed that India has carried out mirror deployment at the LAC to match the Chinese, moving in additional troops, artillery and infantry combat vehicles, and is conducting regular aerial surveillance.

The official also said that India has been building 73 roads of operational significance along the China frontier, but at a far slower pace compared with China’s rapid expansion of military infrastructure in the region.

Meanwhile, the standoff continues in Hot Springs and the Depsang Plains while there have been “partial” disengagements at Galwan Valley, Pangong Lake and Gogra – with both sides pulling back by an equal distance within India-claimed lines.

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