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HomeDefenceChina’s pressure tactics along LAC continue, aim to ‘keep the pot simmering’

China’s pressure tactics along LAC continue, aim to ‘keep the pot simmering’

The tension isn’t limited to the 1,597-km border in Ladakh, but stretches to the Eastern Sector where the Chinese are busy building infrastructure, including villages, close to the LAC.

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New Delhi: From Chinese fighter jets repeatedly violating agreements along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF) to scramble its own — to building a new highway that will connect all the current friction points and speed up deployment of new military equipment close to the borders, China is keeping up the pressure in the over two-year-long standoff with India.

Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the Chinese intent is to “keep the pot simmering” and not go in for any actual de-escalation as wanted by India.

The ongoing provocation by the Chinese is being done through an air exercise under which their fighters and even drones are repeatedly violating the 10-km Confidence Building Measure (CBM) agreement between the two sides.

According to this agreement, both sides are to avoid their fighters from coming within a 10-km radius of the LAC.

However, the provocation has continued. Sources said the violation was raised by the Indian side during the last Corps Commander level talks held on 17 July. They said the Chinese jets have flown within the agreed radius even after the talks.

“There has not been any Indian airspace violation by the Chinese that has violated the local agreement. We are on alert and take tactical steps whenever we notice something,” a source in the defence and security establishment said.

Another key provocation by the Chinese is their plan to build a new highway near the LAC that will run through the disputed territory of Aksai Chin and the existing flashpoints in Eastern Ladakh.

Referred to as the G-695 national expressway, the highway is part of China’s newly unveiled national programme that aims to build 345 new infrastructure projects, totalling 4,61,000 km of highway and motorway, by 2035.

The highway will give China another access point to quickly mobilise and move troops to forward locations at the LAC when required. It will also ensure smoother logistics management for the troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted along the border.

The tension isn’t just limited to the 1,597-km border in Ladakh but stretches to the Eastern Sector where the Chinese are busy building infrastructure, including villages, close to the LAC.

Also read: Chinese response to border stand-off with India is to construct more highways along LAC

Chinese soldiers gaining experience

Speaking about the Chinese development, sources said that China is trying to counter its disadvantage in the Tibet region, in terms of its Air Force. They have spent the last two years building up the infrastructure at its bases close to the LAC, including the ones at Shigatse, HJotan, Kashgar among others.

These bases have now got longer runways, hardened and underground shelters, besides deployment of a larger number of aircraft.

Sources also said that China has been constantly inducting their latest series of armoured personnel carriers, artillery and air defence systems along the Line of Actual Control.

The Chinese have also rolled out G5 connections on its side of the border to speed up their communication networks and are switching their surveillance equipment to this frequency.

“China is also carrying out faster rotation of troops. While we also do a planned rotation of troops, the Chinese also rotate their equipment unlike us,” a second source said.

The sources said that Chinese have been focusing on building road infrastructure besides thousands of billets for its soldiers at multiple locations to ensure there can be faster deployment of men and equipment.

“Faster rotation of troops is being done to ensure that a large number of soldiers get to experience the situation and learn. This will be beneficial for them in the long run because they are not used to such a situation,” a third source said.

Also read: 16th round of India-China talks yield ‘no immediate outcome’, parleys to continue


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