Home » China builds bridge across Pangong, helipads in its territory to counter India’s quick reaction ability | India News
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China builds bridge across Pangong, helipads in its territory to counter India’s quick reaction ability | India News

China builds bridge across Pangong, helipads in its territory to counter India's quick reaction ability | India News

NEW DELHI: China is now building a bridge across the Pangong Tso as well as new roads and helipads within its territory in the region for faster troop mobility, as part of its continuing consolidation of military positions facing India amid the 20-month-long confrontation in eastern Ladakh.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is further strengthening its military infrastructure with additional troop shelters, gun positions, helipads and jetties in the area between ‘Finger-8’ and its military bases to the east at Sirijap-I and II on the north bank of the Pangong lake. The new bridge, in turn, is coming up in the Khurnak Fort area further to the east, sources said on Monday.
“The bridge is being constructed, with prefabricated structures, well within Chinese territory. But it will help the PLA move troops and weaponry much faster from the north to the south banks of Pangong Tso and vice versa,” a source said.
“China obviously wants to counter India’s quick-reaction capability that saw our soldiers take the Kailash Range heights on the south bank towards end-August 2020,” he added.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) runs north to south at Finger-8 in the mountainous spurs region of the brackish 134-km long Pangong Tso, two-thirds of which is controlled by China as it extends from Tibet to India at an altitude of 13,900-feet.
The PLA’s Sirijap complex is around six km east from the LAC at Finger-8, with the Khurnak area being another 20-km beyond it, as per officers who have served in the area. The PLA had captured the Khurnak area in the late-1950s, and then expanded its control westwards to the Sirijap area during the 1962 war.
With India having better connectivity between the two banks of Pangong Tso, China now wants to address the gap. “Khurnak is one of the narrowest points of the lake around mid-way during its length. Once the bridge is ready, the PLA can avoid the long loop through Rudok to reach the south bank. It will provide the PLA with an alternate route,” the source said.
Army sources on Monday also dismissed a video released by a Chinese mouthpiece that showed China’s national flag being unfurled in the Galwan Valley with the claim that the special flag once flew over the Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
“The flag was not flown in the buffer or demilitarised zone in Galwan Valley that came up after the violent clash between the rival troops in June 2020. The PLA must have flown it somewhere else,” said a source.
The north bank of Pangong Tso was also the site of a major clash in May 2020, with the PLA occupying and building fortifications in the 8-km stretch from Finger-4 to 8.
On August 29-30 that year, after initially being caught off-guard, Indian troops had countered the PLA by occupying six to seven tactically dominating heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso-Kailash range area.
The subsequent troop disengagement in February last year, after several rounds of diplomatic and military talks, saw Indian soldiers pull back westwards to their Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger-2 and Finger-3 and vacate the Kailash range heights. PLA troops, in turn, withdrew to their old positions east of Finger-8 to establish a buffer or no-patrol zone in-between.
India and China are now finalizing the date for the 14th round of corps commander-level talks later this month. China had refused to complete the stalled troop disengagement at Patrolling Point-15 in the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area during the 13th round on October 10. The stand-off at Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN) track junction at Demchok and the Depsang Plains is considered even more intractable, as was reported by TOI.
Consequently, the two armies continue to forward deploy around 50,000 troops each, along with tanks, howitzers and surface-to-air missile systems, for the second consecutive winter along the frontier in the forbidding high-altitude area.




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