News and Views on Tibet

Aggressive military build up in Tibet and Aksai Chin area, Sat images reveal

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Chinese military buildup in Shiquanhe, Gar County in Tibet (Photo courtesy-Twitter handle @detresfa)
Chinese military buildup in Shiquanhe, Gar County in Tibet (Photo courtesy-Twitter handle @detresfa)

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, July 29: China continue to build up troops and equipments in Tibet bordering India and the Aksai Chin area, revealed Indian satellite images and those procured from allies. The ongoing disengagement talks at the Indo-Tibetan border is marred by the build up of Chinese troops and equipments at rear positions, sources in the defence and security establishment told The Print.

India’s premier intelligence-gathering satellite EMISAT, operated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was deployed last week to ascertain positions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in occupied Tibet.

Sources cited by said the Chinese troops have also been mobilised in Depsang sector, as soldiers could be spotted digging the area on their side of the LAC. The PLA had last intruded into Depsang back in 2013.

Last week, a satellite image shared by Twitter handle @detresfa showed heavy Chinese army concentration in Shiquanhe, Gar County in Tibet with construction of helipads and at least a brigade’s strength of about 5,000 troops and equipment. The build up is suspected to be in readiness for deployment to support the ongoing tensions at the LAC in Ladakh.

Military strategists and defence observers say that China’s lack of seriousness in the disengagement talks are deliberate to stall the de-escalation process until winter when the PLA might engage at two different fronts in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, where conditions are brutal during the winter season. Sources say that while China has disengaged at flash-points in Galwan valley, they have already begun strengthening rear locations.

The Indian army, however, is preparing for winter against all eventuality. The Indian army is undertaking a massive drive to ensure adequate supply of the right gear and adequate ration for the over 30,000 additional troops deployed at multiple places along the LAC.

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