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China building missile sites near Doklam, Naku La ‘clash zones’, satellite images show

The Chinese efforts to build air defence positions on the eastern section of the LAC come even as tensions with India continue in the western sector in Ladakh.

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New Delhi: China has been developing two air defence positions that will cover the 2017 Doklam stand-off area and also Naku La in Sikkim, which witnessed a clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers this year, new satellite imagery suggested Friday.

The Chinese efforts to build air defence positions on the eastern section of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) come even as tensions with India continue in the western sector in Ladakh. 

Information about the Chinese air defence positions came to light as a prominent Twitter handle that regularly posts satellite imagery — @Detresfa_ — made a fresh post Friday.

Putting out the images as part of a joint study with Sim Tack of the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor, @Detresfa_ said the location is near the China, Bhutan and India tri-junction at Doklam, where New Delhi and Beijing were locked in an-over-two-month stand-off in 2017.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air defence infrastructure, the user added, is being constructed roughly 50 km from the 2017 stand-off site, and the location of the May 2020 scuffles.

The user said the positions, identified by @Detresfa_ and Tack as “surface-to-air missile sites”, will close the existing air defence gaps around the clash zones.

It is pertinent to note that India has been regularly flying surveillance missions in this area to keep an eye on Chinese activities, both in Doklam and in the Northeast.

Also read: India-China tensions at Depsang, a disengagement sticking point, began much before May

‘Pressure tactic’

Even though India and China had disengaged in Doklam in 2017 after a 73-day stand-off, the PLA continues to dominate the areas it had crossed into.

China has been pressuring Bhutan to strike a deal on the Doklam boundary dispute, under which Beijing wants the Chinese holding line in the contentious region to become the working boundary between the two.

The Chinese have also continued with their construction activities on their side of the LAC in the western sector as well even though there has been no forward movement in disengagement talks since July. According to sources in the security and defence establishment, the construction is meant to provide back-up for the thousands of troops China has moved forward near Ladakh, and also into the Indian side, and may also be a possible pressure tactic.

China’s withdrawal in July from near the Y Junction in the Galwan Valley, which is on the Indian side, is seen more as a fallout of the Galwan river’s rising water level, which made their stay untenable, rather than any sincere effort to disengage, sources had told ThePrint earlier.

Also read: China is following Mao’s dictum by keeping two-front war option against India open


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  1. I don’t come across even young brats playing video games talking this recklessly as some trolls and gobbledygooks here seem to be prattling.

    International geo-politics are of paramount importance and must be handled with care and caution.

    They are not like communal riots or lynchings!

    Nor are they akin to arresting helpless intellectuals and artists and throwing them behind bars without trail, publicising pranks and conversations or personal pics from their seized phones or tablets!

    China has land boundaries with 14 countries.

    With TEN it settled their never before settled boundaries by negotiations decades Ago, as per mutual adjustment and mutual benefit, apparently conceding more in favour of the smaller Neighbhours, making them feel good and not exploited because of their small size, geographic or economic.

    It fought brief wars with Russia and Vietnam and again settled the boundaries by negotiations post the brief wars.

    India and Bhutan are left out.

    According to Shri Subramanian swamy, BJP Member of Parliament, Bhutan and China have secretly signed boundary agreement conceding Doklam area to China.

    India, unfortunately, appears to be the lone wolf.

    India is set to play a very important role in future world order, much bigger than it’s physical or economic size, on account of the demographic dividend the it has come to possess and the peculiar civilisational values parents of young children attach to the education and employment of their children, the amorphous genetic mix and projection of being absorbed into local cultures unlike the Mongoloid Chinese or Negroid African origin people or the accent of the Arabic refugees of the Persian gulf!

    As such It would not fit into China’s future strategy of development and international relations to try seeking annexation of any territory presently held by India, irrespective of any historical claims from China, be it Arunachal Pradesh/NEFA/South Tibet or LadAkh or Tawang tract.

    In the Modern History, we do not come across another country of size, economic and military power that had displayed a penchant for negotiated settlement of land boundaries , maritime claims and financial disputes with neighbors and contending far away nations, as had been exhibited by China since 1949!

    We can ignore their century of humiliation before that, and any campaigns past empires have conducted.

    Even there, history shows lack of colonisation on the part of China.

    It was only non-aggressive tributary practices of exchange of gifts that is visible in history before.

    Tibetan admin folks were chased out of Tawang in 1950’or 1951 by some adventurous CRPF officer as per indian archival reports!

    Yet despite long standing claims over the Tawang Tract and Tawang Monastery, China has, as reported by authentic Indian authoritative reports, nonchalantly handed over entire Tawang tract and more after the 1962 campaign on the never before settled boundaries between India and China.

    Loud mouthing is useless between great powers like India and China.

    Together, one out of every three human beings on the planet earth is from India/China!

    These two great countries can not afford war or even prolonged adversity about mostly inconsequential boundary tracts of useless land.

    Both countries need and must settle their never before settled boundaries through negotiations on principles of mutual benefit, Accomodation and security interests.

    The crux of the matter, most of the time escaping all commentators outside of China appears to be, non understanding of the Chinese policy of NO COMPROMISE about matters concerning their core interests!

    They have repeatedly stated their willingness to be appreciative and conciliatory of the core interests of contending or other negotiating parties.

    For example, despite their size, strength and historical century of humiliation, annexation, colonisation, genocide of millions of Chinese people by Japan, and western colonial powers, China has been patient and non adventurous about HONG KONG, The Island of Taiwan and their lost territory to RUSSIAN EMPIRE.

    China has not toppled one government, did not assassinate one leader, did not occupy one country, did not send it’s military abroad!

    Who else in the world of any size and strength can lay such claims of Humility and humbleness?

    Arunachal Pradesh is safely in India and Aksai chin is safely in China.

    There is simply no way, now or ever, either conceding these areas to the other.

    Nor is there a way either could free such area from the other.

    In the face of Arunachal Pradesh being of non strategic and non core interest matter to China, and Aksai chin being similarly non strategic and non core interest matter for India, there simply is no reason for either side to prolong their adversity on never before settled boundary disputes.

    Concerning Gilgit and Baltistan, China has written down into the foresighted agreements with Pakistan that these are disputed territories and it will negotiate afresh with whichever power comes to have sovereignty over that area post settlement of the disputes!

    China has been united and has a strong central government capable of making any decision for their country and their people.

    Unfortunately India is not in such a situation, nor has there been any consistent effort to achieve a national consensus on core or strategic issues of national or strategic importance to India.

    India is divided, politically, economically and parochially!

    We have been nonchalant to leave indian enclaves in Pakistan/Bangladesh and keep their enclaves in India and never bother about the wretched people of theirs and our own for over half century, despite serious efforts by the government in power in India and even for a quarter century after officially signing an agreement for exchange of such enclaves.

    That was because of our political divide and acrimony and nonchalant attitude towards our own countrymen and other equally suffering human beings in gross violation of the universal declaration of human rights.

    It is puzzling why there is such a big publicity and push to display everything related SFF, special Frontier Force made up of Tibetan Refugees originally under CIA tutelage and later as a highly secretive force under cabinet secretariat or so.

    It looks very demeaning and derogatory to Indian interests and Indian prestige in international affairs, at UNO and our relations with other Neighbhouring countries.

    It seriously affects our campaign for a permanent seat on Security Council!

    There appears to be much bravado about some kind of cosy ness with USA.

    USA has major problems of its own.

    It is going to be a most unreliable friend.

    India needs a well balanced and working partnership with China and USA on non military terms.

    India‘S priorities are poverty alleviation and Industrialisation and infrastructure.

    A campaign for national consensus, national unity and development will be good for India.

    Ganging up with USA “deputy Sheriff” Tiny power Australia, an uncomposed Japan and looking up to a rogue like Donald Duck with hero worship wide open mouth will be disastrous for India and the soon going to be 1.5 Billion Indian wretched people suffering in poverty and backwardness, continuing open defecation, non sewerage infrastructure for 80 percent of population, everyday religious and caste strife.

    Let us all unite and save our country, despite social, political and religious division and differences.

    If we do not unite now, we will have no option other than uniting for misery and underdevelopment!

    Choice is ours.

  2. China want war with India for Pakistan to show their cozy friendship. Keep India busy at the border so that both countries can keep their BR road project going on the sly. Might is shown in threat.

  3. WAR WITH China is not feasible at the moment, we are struggling with other projects required urgently at present. We are not able to transport logistics to the border quick enough at the moment. In war time even more slowly doing so. Transportation by only helicopter is very very slow. Trains are only good option. But in war this link is easy to be destroyed. Then you are cut off with the supply line depending back on airlifting. Other thing is can we produce immunition to fight for a year or two? Can India produce drones in thousands or have to buy from Israel in dozens? You cannot fight a war on truck load of armament, it should be ship loads and and more in production with rockets.


  5. We do hope that India will plan to take out these missile sites as a first move in case of hostilities. This can be done with Brahmos or even the new Rafale long range missiles. Only then can our IAF operate safely in these areas.

    • You want to start a war without thinking of the follow on consequences??? A few expensive Rafales and supersonic missiles against low cost missile batteries with radar? What exactly do you think the Chinese response might be to such provocations?
      The Chinese are causing the much stronger US Navy to think twice at this stage of a pre-emptive attack by the latter on the former in the S. China Sea. What do you think the Chinese are capable of against an India that can’t even organize during peace time to protect their people from the coronavirus?

      • We are nuclear power, not Vietnam to ram thier boats. If push comes to shove, bye bye Shanghai bye bey Beiging. Yes we will be obliterated from the face off the earth, but just analyse the cost for Chinese. They are a super power aiming to become number one. They will be set back by decades of not centuries and then mind you no country will help them to rise again. America will be laughing atthis outcome. Pakistan scares the shit out of us even though we can be in Lahore in 2 days if we want to. So try all you want to show China is something that can’t be beaten. Just look at USA, thye are defeated by ragtag Taliban.

    • Ehhh?
      What about the little matter that China might respond? And as the latter country has an economy 5 times India’s; their own arms manufacturing; and nuclear missiles that work and don’t sizzle like the Indian ones, that they could last quite a bit longer in a war?

      • You are saying as you are paid by China to say so. How do you know that Indian missiles sizzle and Chinese don’t? Such a coward to say so. We never started a war. But if it is started, we have everything in capacity to face off China at every front. Huge loss will be from both sides be it China or India. That’s why both should try to avoid it not only India. Remember that India is a nuclear power, Mr. Observer.

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