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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

China seen as preparing for winter Ladakh assault

Representational image: Indian soldiers in Ladakh (Photo: The Print)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul28’20) – Despite ongoing military level talks over the Ladakh border faceoff, Indian satellite images as well as those procured from friendly countries show a large concentration of Chinese troops in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the use of possible tunnels to amass equipment, reported theprint.in Jul 27.

The report said the Indian Army was understandably cautious about the disengagement process because of China’s additional build-up of troops and equipment in rear locations, especially with “substantial quantum” of troops in the Aksai Chin area that China grabbed from India during the 1962 war.

The report cited sources in the defence and security establishment as saying this was the reason why some Indian defence planners thought China was dragging its feet over the talks.

In fact, Chinese troops have been seen to appear to be getting ready for long and harsh winters.

There is said to be fears that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was intentionally delaying the disengagement process to sustain it till winters and then open a new front, possibly in the northeast.

The Chinese build-up is believed to be at least a brigade’s strength (about 5,000 troops and equipment). Helipads had also come up in the area and fresh construction was going on, the report cited the sources as saying.

The report noted that while a certain level of disengagement had been done at faceoff sites, the PLA was strengthening its positions in rear locations.

This is seen as an indication that China was preparing for a possible winter stay, and that the PLA could return to areas it had currently retreated from after talks.

On 21 July, Twitter user @detresfa posted this satellite image, claiming it to be from Shiquanhe (Tibetan Sênggêzangbo) in Tibet Autonomous Region where PLA build-up is seen | Photo: Twitter

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